Business Poll Backfires, Shows Public Wants Less Immigration

A business-funded poll backfired by showing that 56 percent of swing voters favor President Donald Trump’s decision to curb legal immigration for 60 days. Only 15 percent of claimed independents in the May 6-8 poll of almost 2,000 likely voters strongly disapproved of Trump’s April 22 policy, according to the survey commissioned by the D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center. Also, 14 percent of respondents declined to state an opinion, suggesting even more support for Trump. The BPC is a pro-migration advocacy group backed by businesses and run by Washington insiders and corporate chiefs. In 2014, the BPC was a cheerleader for the “Gang of Eight” amnesty and cheap labor bill, which was finally stopped by GOP primary voters in June 2014. The poll results are a problem for business lobbyists, who fear Trump will extend his popular temporary policy. The results are also a problem for the BPC, which favors a higher inflow of consumers, workers, and renters, which can nudge down wages and drive up real estate values. The public, in contrast, wants less legal immigration and more jobs and higher wages for Americans. The survey, which was conducted by Morning Consult, also showed the public rejects the BPC effort to portray migrants as essential workers in the coronavirus crisis. Roughly 21 percent of swing-voters said that “Allowing migrant workers to enter the U.S. to continue to support the food supply” is in their top four of six priorities. But that inflow was the lowest priority for 51 percent of swing-voting people who said they were “somewhat” favorable or unfavorable of Trump. The poll showed that 50 percent of liberals and 44 percent of people with post-graduate degrees believe immigration helps the coronavirus economic recovery. But only 24 percent of female independents and 13 percent of Republicans share that view. The poll was not skewed towards Trump. In fact, only 38 percent of the independents said they somewhat or strongly approved of Trump’s performance, while 55 percent said they somewhat or strongly disapproved of Trump’s performance. The poll avoided questions that would highlight the public’s increased emphasis on jobs for Americans instead of welcoming more migrants into a claimed “nation of immigrants.” Recent polls show that Americans generously want to welcome migrants — but they rationally want companies to hire Americans before importing foreign workers, especially in an economic crisis. These polls show that the public strongly objects to companies hiring foreign workers before American employees. For example, an August 2017 poll reported that 68 percent of Americans oppose companies’ use of H-1B visa workers to outsource U.S.-based jobs that could be held by Americans. In response, pro-migration business-first groups try to divert public attention away from the harmful impact of migration on Americans’ jobs and wages. For example, pro-migration groups commission and publicize skewed polls which prod Americans to voice support for attractive young migrants — such as “dreamers” — or for foreign doctors, and to publicly endorse the 1960s myth that the United States is a nation of immigrants, not a nation of and for Americans.

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