When Americans were asked what they feel is the most important problem facing the nation, immigration topped the list for just the second time in Gallup’s history. The top issue each month since January of 2017 has been the government, but immigration has just replaced its position according to a new Gallup poll.
When asked the same question in June, immigration ranked at 14% when Gallup asked Americans what’s the “most important problem” the nation faces. It jumped from 14% to 22% from June to July 2018.
Each month, Gallup asks the same question and the answer of immigration has always averaged 5% over the 17 years Gallup has included it in their polls. So why the sudden jump from 14% to 22%?
The past several weeks social media and news outlets alike have focused on the issue of separating families at the border with President Trump’s stance on immigration and his modified policy that would keep families detained together (if detainment must occur) continuing to be a hot button issue.
Just last month, TIME ran the cover story, “A Reckoning After Trump’s Border Separation Policy: What Kind of Country Are We,” with the cover photo that was proven to be fake news. The cover showed a 2-year-old little girl crying while President Trump towers above her looking on as she wails. The cover read simply “Welcome to America.” The claim made by Time was that the little girl had been separated from her family at the border, but Yanela, daughter to Sandra Sanchez had never been separated from her mother at all. Sanchez and her daughter were arrested by Border Patrol agents under the zero tolerance policy that criminally charges anyone attempting to cross the border illegally, but at no point were they separated.
Every week immigration has remained in the news cycle, and continues to be an issue that is important to Americans. The Washington Examiner reported on Monday that The National Guard’s deployment to the southwest border in mid-April has led to 10,805 “deportable alien arrests” of people who entered into the United States from Mexico illegally. The National Guard has also intercepted more than 3,300 others who were turned back at the border before crossing into the U.S., and have seized 11,686 pounds of marijuana.
In April of 2006, immigration reached 19% when Congress was working on passing a comprehensive immigration bill. During this time period, immigration protests popped up all across America and saturated the news cycle. The last spike, according to Gallup of immigration as the top problem was in 2014 when the news focused its attention on a large number of immigrants who were attempting to enter the U.S. from Central America.
The issue of immigration is important to Americans, but for starkly different reasons. Republicans are more concerned about potential crime, impacts on the nation’s economy, and jobs being taken away from native-born families. Democrats, in contrast, support a path to citizenship for the undocumented, but more over, they know that they need all the help they can get at the polls, with Trump’s base stronger than ever heading into the Midterms.
The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews conducted July 1-11 with a random sample of 1,033 adults in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.
Join the conversation!
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.