Survey: 92% Call Illegal Immigration a 'Problem', 77% Say It's 'Serious'

Published on September 16th, 2015

Ashley Rae Goldenberg
September 15, 2015
A recent survey shows a majority of Americans think illegal immigration is a “very serious” problem and would support measures to deport illegal immigrants currently living within the country – such as creating a hotline to report “activity connected to illegal immigration.”
The survey also found that:
Half of Americans would report an employer they suspected of hiring illegal immigrants to the government,
Nearly half of Americans would support the government “actively searching for illegal immigrants who have not committed any other crimes to deport them from the United States,” and 39% of respondents would report their neighbors for being illegal immigrants.
YouGov asked 1,000 American adults between Sept. 1-2 for their opinions on various issues related to illegal immigration.
Asked, “How serious a problem is ILLEGAL immigration in the US?” 51% of respondents replied it is “very serious,” while 26% responded illegal immigration is “somewhat serious,” and 15% described illegal immigration as a “minor problem.”

In total, 77% of respondents believe illegal immigration is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem. Including the 15% who responded illegal immigration is a “minor problem,” 92% of Americans view illegal immigration as a problem.
YouGov also asked individuals about certain measures they would support in order to remove illegal immigrants currently in the country.
A majority of respondents (55%) claimed they would support “creating a phone number where people could report activity connected to illegal immigration to the government.”
Half of Americans would “definitely” (26%) or “probably” (24%) report an employer who was suspected of illegally employing illegal immigrants to the government.
Of the people polled, 13% stated they would “definitely not” report employers to the government and 19% stated they would “probably not,” while 18% of individuals were unsure.
Just less than half—48%—of respondents replied they would either “strongly support” (23%) or “somewhat support” (25%) the government “actively searching for illegal immigrants who have not committed any other crimes to deport them from the United States.”
Of the individuals polled, 38% opposed such a policy of actively searching for illegal immigrants in order to deport them, with 21% responding they would “strongly oppose” the measure and 17% replying they would “somewhat oppose” it.
When it comes to reporting their neighbors to the government, Americans are more divided.
YouGov asked, “If you suspected that illegal immigrants were living in a house in your neighborhood, would you report this to the government?”
While 17% responded they would “definitely not” and 24% responded they would “probably not” report their suspected illegal immigrant neighbors to the government, 39% of respondents would “definitely” (19%) or “probably” (20%) report their neighbors to the government if they were suspected of being illegal immigrants.
Despite viewing illegal immigration as a large problem and supporting measures to deport illegal immigrants, 45% of respondents answered that mass deportation would have “no real impact” on their lives and their families, while 5% answered it would “hurt a little” and 7% stated mass deportation would “hurt a lot.”
The belief that mass deportation would have “no real impact” on individuals and their families seems to cross party lines as 51% of Democrats, 47% of Republicans, and 39% of Independents responded mass deportation would have “no real impact” on their lives and their families.
At the same time, 52% of respondents claimed they would support a pathway to citizenship, as defined as “a way for illegal immigrants currently in the country to gain legal citizenship if they pass background checks, pay fines, and have jobs.”
This coincides with the notion that it is not possible to deport the illegal immigrants currently in the country.
YouGov stated, “There are just over 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States” and then asked, “Do you think it is possible for immigration agents to find and deport most of these people?”
In response, 61% of those polled said it is either “definitely not” (24%) or “probably not” (37%) possible for the government to find and deport “most of these people.”

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