Weekend Rewind: Is (illegal) immigration the biggest problem?

Is (illegal) immigration the biggest problem?

Bottom Line: According to us the answer is yes. Or at least it’s as big of a problem as it’s ever been. This according to the latest survey work by Gallup. Gallup’s surveyed on immigration as an issue since 1993. Back then only 3% of Americans cited immigration as the US’s biggest issue. A lot has happened in 26 years, including a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who believe there is no greater need to be addressed than immigration. According to Gallup 23% of Americans say there’s no bigger issue that needs to be addressed in our country than the existing immigration issues. And only one issue, the government itself, ranks higher according to us. 

This is in part endemic of a great US economy. When the economy isn’t doing well, it’s always going to take precedence, not that immigration issues don’t play a role in economic conditions but that’s more of a longer-term concern relative to the immediacy of someone who’s trying to provide for their family today. But here’s the thing. Who beside President Trump, is serious about real solutions? 

During the 2016 Presidential cycle as President Trump rode on his theme of immigration reform with the border wall sitting as a cornerstone of his campaign,only 10% of Americans in Gallup’s research felt this was the top issue. With this number sitting at a level that’s more than double what it was back then, what are the implications for this upcoming cycle? Many in political settings attempt to conflate immigration reform with illegal immigration. They are two different issues. Solid majorities of Americans don’t believe illegal immigration is acceptable. That includes nearly two-thirds of legal immigrants. If this is shaping up to be a 2020 issue, expect it to be one that President Trump is on the right side of, both in terms of the law and public opinion (regardless of the noise in the news media). 

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