In a poll taken September 1-2, YouGov asked 1,000 adults for their opinions on various issues related to illegal immigration. The poll found that nearly all adults believe illegal immigration is a problem.
When asked, “How serious a problem is illegal immigration in the United States?” 92% of respondents called it a “problem” with 77% calling it either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem. Additionally, 69% of those polled indicated that illegal immigration is a “problem” in their local communities. Forty-eight percent of respondents replied they would either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” federal immigration authorities “actively searching for illegal immigrants who have not committed any other crimes to deport them from the United States.”
While questions gauging the seriousness of the illegal immigration problem were straightforward, the poll also contained several flawed questions that the open borders lobby will likely use to claim Americans support amnesty. Specifically, one question posed to respondents reads, “Do you favor or oppose providing a way for illegal immigrants currently in the country to gain legal citizenship if they pass background checks, pay fines, and have jobs?” While a small majority–52%–answered yes, no piece of legislation or policy proposal, including the S.744 amnesty bill, actually meets the requirements posed in the question. Similarly, when asked by YouGov if it was possible for immigration agents to find and deport the just over 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, 61% of respondents do not believe it is possible for the government to find and deport most of these people. Yet, there is no current proposal for mass deportation.
What’s more important is the question that this poll, and others that purport to show public support for some form of amnesty, do not ask. These push polls consistently fail to offer legitimate alternatives to mass amnesty or mass deportation, including “voluntary compliance” with our immigration laws by systematically removing all the benefits and incentives to remain in the United States illegally. In polls where this third option is included, it is overwhelmingly favored by respondents.
Although the YouGov poll may reflect the American public’s view of illegal immigration as a problem, like many other polls, it contains loaded questions that can lead to false impressions. It is important to remember that when you see an immigration poll, questions can be designed to get desired answers.