Poll: Nearly All Agree Illegal Immigration is a Problem

ballot-box-32384_640In 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.

avatar About RJ Hauman

RJ Hauman joined FAIR in 2015, bringing valuable legislative, regulatory, and political experience to the Government Relations department. He is responsible for reviewing and analyzing legislation and regulations, as well as building and maintaining relationships with Capitol Hill staff. During his time on Capitol Hill, RJ gained immigration policy experience as an aide to former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), who chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. RJ holds a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University.


  1. avatar Richard Harris says:

    Legal immigration actually causes more harm to the country than illegal immigration. The legal immigrants can vote in five years. Thus 1.5 million immigrants of 5 years ago will be registered voting Democrats this year. Over the last 25 years the 40 million legal immigrants have swollen the Democrat voting base by 32.5 million voters. If we don’t stop all legal immigration ASAP we will never be able to stop the spiraling increase in the Democrat voting base. When that happens we will all be made homeless by the legal immigrants who have taken our jobs.

    • avatar Richard Harris says:

      Illegal immigration needs to be stopped too. We need to deport all illegal aliens. In the Eisenhower years the feds started deporting people and the remainder left of their own volition in order to avoid nasty encounters with the police and border patrol.

      The easiest way to deport mass quantities of illegal aliens is to send arrest squads to Home Depot and Lowe’s every morning. When you can pick up large numbers of IA’s as easily as that it becomes a very cost effective operation.

      • avatar No Change says:

        Last Richard…how did you parents or you came to this country…..so you have to be the only one that benefits from it?…come on man…..we nee immigration reform and if it does not happen YES you will be on the streets….and the rest of us…..

  2. avatar Barbara Griffith says:

    The only reason E-Verify has never been made mandatory for all jobs in the US is because the politicians in the Senate/House won’t allow it. During the recession thousands of illegal aliens packed up and went home taking their kids with them. Right now E-Verify is around 99% accurate it has improved a lot since it was introduced. The businesses that prefer to keep their illegals on the payroll donate to their state reps and senators to vote against E-Verify if it ever comes up for a vote in DC.

  3. avatar David Smith says:

    While nearly all see illegal aliens as a problem, the corporate mass media and the Federal govt continue with the “Great Lie” Nazi technique of telling the same lie over and over so soon people will believe it. They think the general population are a bunch of fools which are easily brainwashed with propaganda and the biggest danger is they may be right.

    • avatar No Change says:

      David you are exactly the reflection of the big lie…….illegal immigration does not harm to the country……………it has helped …..330M………20M illegals……if you think this small number harms the country…you must be an obsolete Republican…

  4. EVerify Is Error Prone and Dysfunctional?

    And I have a bridge I can sell ya…

  5. avatar silverfox says:

    deport obuma and his commie friends we need a real american president where is 2017.cant wait

  6. avatar BKaur says:

    illegal immigration is an ENORMOUS PROBLEM… AND Rewarding these illegals for breaking the laws of this country is insane!! ANYONE with a brain knows you do NOT reward people for breaking the laws or they are going to keep on doing it over and over again. We have a lawless government with NO backbone to do what is right for the country and its citizens.. our lawless government AND the illegal aliens trample on the rights of the citizens more and more every day… we spend BILLIONS of tax dollars EVERY month taking care of illegals… that is insane!!! STOP ALL BENEFITS TO ALL ILLEGALS … THEY HAVE NO RIGHT HERE… if they want to be here…they need to do it LEGALLY…..
    I agree with Leland … no need for mass deportation…STOP ALL FREE BENEFITS TO ALL ILLEGALS, STOP ALL ANCHOR BABIES, E-VERIFY 100%, FINE THE EMPLOYERS, START ENFORCING OUR LAWS, Do this and a huge number of them will self-deport and the others will have no reason to come… they come for all the free handouts our lawless government gives them… they should get NOTHING but free Emergency medical if needed and then IMMEDIATELY deported!!! NO MORE taking advantage of this country and its citizens…
    We need someone in office who will put the citizens of this country FIRST

  7. avatar Leland says:

    Who is going to pay for these “background checks” when a lot of these people have used multiple identities and false or made up SS numbers? What happens when five people are using the same SS number? And that does happen. Who is going to be untangling all this and checking arrest records in every state? You can bet when illegals don’t provide correct information, the excuse will be they “didn’t understand”. Background checks are just another puff of hot air designed to fool the gullible. It would cost thousands per person to do effective ones.

    And there is no need for mass deportation. No more drivers licenses for illegals, e-verify for every job, fines and jail for working without permission and most will leave on their own. Why not ask those questions? Those in favor of “reform” need to explain how their continued rewards for illegal behavior, which is what we are doing now, are going to discourage further illegal immigration and overstaying of visas.

    • avatar Richard Harris says:

      Correct. Simply make it a felony for an illegal alien to work and they’ll be streaming back south in a heartbeat.

    • avatar No Change says:

      Well Leland I would say……..look up your social security number and you find out that you will get $4000 instead of $1250 when you retired. Then you find out 4 illegals took your number but you get the money……what would you do?

      SORRY you cant keep the money it goes to the federal reserve…………………..SO what now?