Americans believe they are competing for jobs with a growing number of illegal immigrants flowing into the country, a new poll has found.
According to a Rasmussen Reports survey
conducted Aug. 9–10 of 1,000 likely voters, 51 percent said they believe illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from U.S. citizens. Thirty-nine percent disagree, while 11 percent are unsure.
The vast majority of illegal immigrants represent low-skilled employees, the poll noted, explaining why lower-income respondents —
those earning $50,000 or less — feel more strongly than those who earn more that illegal immigrants are responsible for taking available employment.
That finding also held for education; those without college degrees are more likely than those who did graduate from college to believe that illegal immigrants are taking away jobs.
There is a strong ideological divide in opinion as well. Seventy-one percent of Republicans, and unaffiliated voters by a 51 percent margin, believe illegals are taking away jobs from American citizens, but just 31 percent of Democrats believe this to be the case.
Men feel more strongly than women that illegal immigrants are taking away domestic jobs. Older citizens feel that is the case more than those under 40.
There is also a racial divide: most white voters believe illegals are taking away U.S. jobs while most black voters disagree. Other minorities are almost evenly divided on the issue, the poll found.
Meanwhile 66 percent of all voters favor strict government sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants, which the poll notes is the highest figure in nearly four years.
And the poll also found that most voters do not think the U.S. is aggressive enough in deporting those who are here illegally.
The issue of illegal immigration was most recently elevated to the political agenda after Donald Trump made his presidential announcement speech
, accusing Mexico of sending illegal criminals, and in some cases, rapists, to the United States.
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