New poll reveals overwhelming majority of millennials support DACA and pathways to citizenshipOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Given the current debate taking place in Congress over immigration, GenForward at the University of Chicago released a timely survey today with recent data on millennials’ views on immigration in the United States. Millennials across race and ethnicity groups overwhelmingly agree that undocumented individuals who currently meet DACA eligibility should be granted citizenship – over 75% of millennials share this view.
However, millennial Trump voters have contradicting views on immigration reform. Two thirds (66%) of them support pathways to citizenship for DACA-eligible immigrants and an overwhelming majority (76%) of them support pathways to citizenship for immigrants who are law abiding and for those who have served in the military. However, 75% of these voters support the construction of a border wall and 64% support deporting all immigrants.
When looking at opinion by race, white Millennials are more strongly supportive of increasing government spending on security at national borders, identifying and deporting all immigrants living in the U.S. without legal status, and building a wall along the Southern border. Indeed, white Millennials are the only racial/ethnic group where a majority (57%) agrees that spending on border security should be increased. White support for specifically building a wall to curb unauthorized immigration is less than a majority, but 17 percentage points higher than it is for any other racial or ethnic group.
“Immigration is not only front and center right now given the current debate over DACA but it’s also a topic that is central to the lived experience of so many millennials today,” said Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, GenForward founder. “This close personal connection impacts the ways in which different racial and ethnic groups view the immigration debate. However, our data reveals important contradictions as well among certain voters who hold both liberal and restrictive views on immigration policies.”
Unlike standard opinion polling, GenForward bimonthly surveys, under the direction of Professor Cathy J. Cohen, include significant data on the views of young people of color, who are often under-sampled, leaving their unique and important perspectives out of the conversation about our country’s political landscape. GenForward over-samples Black, Latinx and Asian American Millennials representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is composed of more than 1,800 interviews with adults ages 18-34, allowing more comparative research. This new data explores the important perception and understanding of race relations in the U.S. of Millennials.
Other key findings from the new survey, conducted October 26, 2017 – November 10, 2017, include:
● Approximately 43% of whites, compared to fewer than 25% African American, Latinx and Asian American Millennials, approve of how President Trump has handled immigration.
● A majority of white Millennials (57%) support increasing government spending on security measures and enforcement at U.S. borders, but considerably fewer Millennials of color (44% of Asian American, 42% of African American, and 37% of Latinx) agree with such measures.
● Nearly half of Latinx Millennials in our survey (49%) say they worry that a family member, close friend, or they themselves might be deported, compared to 25% of Asian American, 21% of African Americans, and 10% of whites.
● A majority of African Americans (57%) and Latinxs (55%) say it is somewhat or very important to have been born in America to be truly American, compared to 48% of whites and 29% of Asian Americans.
● Nearly 20% of white Millennials who voted for Trump agree that being of European heritage is “very” or “somewhat” important to be considered truly American.
● While white Millennials (86%) overwhelmingly report feeling that they are full and equal citizens, the perception of full and equal citizenship is shared by only 56% of African American Millennials.
● Large majorities of Asian Americans (75%) and African Americans (74%) say that strong patriotic feelings in America lead to intolerance, while smaller majorities of Latinxs (61%) and whites (55%) agree with this statement.
The full GenForward survey can be found here.
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