Holding Steady: Public Opinion on Immigration

October 28, 2014

By: Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Sara McElmurry, Nonresident Fellow, Immigration; Craig Kafura, Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

The arrival of a “surge” of Central American minors on the US-Mexico border generated intense media coverage as authorities apprehended more than 68,000 children between October 2013 and September 2014, double the number from the previous year.  Public opinion polls conducted in July, at the height of the influx, showed that much of the public was following the issue and opinion was split on whether these unaccompanied minors should be treated as refugees or undocumented immigrants  But Chicago Council Surveys conducted both before (May) and after (October) the surge show little effect on a twenty-year-long trend of decreasing public concern over immigration. 

The 2014 Chicago Council Survey is made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the United States-Japan Foundation, and the personal support of Lester Crown.

Holding Steady: Public Opinion on Immigration

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