President Donald Trump last week voiced his support for an immigration bill introduced to the Senate in February of this year titled the RAISE Act (S.354). In this bill, there would be cutbacks on legal immigration, in which it amends significant portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It would eliminate the diversity immigrant visa category, set refugee limits on 50,000 per fiscal year, worldwide fiscal year level for family-sponsored immigrants is reduced, and establishes a nonimmigrant alien W-visa for the parent of an adult (at least 21 years old) U.S. citizen. Although this has occurred, many felt it was time to reassess the current feelings on immigration.
It was found in this poll that there is increased division among the American public on the proposals endorsed by Trump. Forty-six percent of Americans prefer the U.S. give priority to immigrants based on education, job skills and work experience, while forty-four percent think those with family members here should be given priority. In a previous poll earlier this year, nearly 60% of individuals asked said that the U.S. give priority to immigrants based on education, job skills and work experience.
With regards to political party affiliation, 54% Democrats polled said that those with family members here should be given priority, but just four years ago, 57% said that priority should be given to immigrants based on education, job skills and work experience. 59% Republicans today state that immigration should be based on education and job skills, and four years ago, 58% said the same.
Over half (55%) of those polled today state that fluent English, a major requirement for the RAISE Act, should not be required, with 44% in favor. Overall, Americans feel legal immigration into the U.S. should be kept at the level it is (43%), rather than increased (23%) or decreased (30%).
OUR VERDICT: The polling data shows that there are parts of the RAISE Act that are unpopular, but the partisan divide shows large differences in opinion that might influence the direction of the bill. Although the bill has only been introduced in the Senate, there might be more forward discussion of the bill since it has been brought to the forefront of the ongoing immigration discussion.