61% of Americans Agree: Unregulated Immigration Increases Poverty

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on April 11, 2011

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, 61 percent of adults say if immigration laws were enforced, there would be less poverty in America. Only 19 percent disagree with that assessment.

Seventy-seven percent of Republican respondents and 58 percent of adults not affiliated with either of the two political parties feel there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced. Forty-eight percent of democrat respondents agreed.

Interestingly, adults under the age of 50 are more inclined to agree that there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced than their elders. This does not bode well for open-border advocates who likely assume that younger Americans support their agenda as a result of having become accustomed to large-scale immigration.

While a majority of Americans understand that unregulated immigration results in increases in poverty, perhaps the most interesting survey result is that 20 percent of respondents remain unsure about the economic impact. Fortunately, the Center for Immigration Studies has written extensively on this subject, and our reports can be found here and here.

For example, our research has shown:

  • The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 17 percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for natives and their children.

  • Roughly one in nine native-born Americans lives in poverty compared to one in five illegal aliens.

  • Illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children account for 9.4 percent of all persons in poverty.

  • In states such as California, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children account for roughly a fifth of those in poverty.

  • Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. Since 2000, immigration increased the number of workers without a high school diploma by 14 percent, and all other workers by 3 percent.

Another report

, released just last week, shows that the result of this is that 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native-headed households with children. Looking at just the illegal immigration population, we estimate that 71 percent of illegal immigrant-headed households with children make use of at least one major welfare program.

If you know someone who is part of that 20 percent of people who are uncertain of the economic impact of unregulated immigration, please send them our publications!