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Survey: Americans Want Federal Government to Focus on Economy, Health Over Immigration

Washington, DC – Despite numerous high-profile moves by the Trump administration to limit immigration during the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey conducted by Morning Consult for the Bipartisan Policy Center finds that Americans see addressing the public health and economic aspects of the crisis as far more pressing priorities and doubt the administration’s immigration measures will have a positive effect.

Only 8% of respondents said shutting off immigration to preserve American jobs should be the federal government’s highest priority, while 66% ranked such a move as among the lowest of the six priorities tested in the survey.

And while 58% of respondents strongly or somewhat approved of President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending many green card applications from overseas applicants, a smaller 47% thought that step would actually be effective in protecting jobs for American workers.

“Americans simply do not think major immigration policy changes should be a big part of the response to this crisis,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The fact that even a sizeable percentage of those who have supported Trump’s immigration measures during the pandemic do not believe they will have a positive impact suggests they are putting little stock in that aspect of the government’s approach thus far.”

The survey was conducted between May 6 and May 8, 2020, among a national sample of 1,987 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Read our analysis 
Read the survey toplines
Read the survey crosstabs