Global Study finds three-quarters of people in the US and Canada view immigrants that are citizens as being “real” residents, which was the most positive response in the 27-country survey.
The United States may be going through a travel ban, inhumane treatment of children along the Mexican border, and divisive rhetoric over immigration, but a survey concluded that the country – along with Canada – are the two most inclusive and tolerant countries as far as seeing the people as one of their own; as “real” Americans and Canadians.
The survey was carried out by polling company, who surveyed 20,000 people across 27 countries. Questions on the survey were on immigration status, religion, the country of origin of parents, along with sexuality, extreme political views, and criminal background. The survey showed Canadians had the broadest view on who they considered being “real Canadians” with the US coming in close seconds. This result suggests that the majority of Americans don’t agree with the nativity position of their current leader.
The survey asked people across each country whether someone would be seen as a “real” member of the country based on a certain characteristic. For example, Australian citizens were asked if they considered members of the LGBT community to be real Australians, and Argentinians were asked if someone from an immigrant family was a real Argentinian.
The results of the survey were taken and compiled into an inclusiveness index that aggregated the different responses. Outside of the US and Canada, France, South Africa, Chile, and Australia were the most inclusive. The least inclusive countries were named as Malaysia, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia.
One thing of note is that the overall index does obscure massively different rankings in regards to individual questions, particularly when it comes to undocumented immigrants in the US. The US appears to have a legalistic view of what is considered to be a true American. America was the most inclusive when it came to immigrants that secured legal citizenship, even for immigrants that were unemployed or didn’t speak “their” language.
The US was also ranked in the top three when considering people who are convicted felons or having extreme political views to be “real” Americans. It’s a sign of how much Americans value having a piece of paper and allegiance to the flag. You can have all the extreme political views you want after becoming a citizen, but you have to have gone through this process first.
The scores for the US drop dramatically in the case of an immigrant being in the country legally but not a citizen or an undocumented person that has lived in the country for most of their life. Only around a quarter of those questioned considered an undocumented immigrant to be American even if they spent most of their life in the country. Another 20% said they didn’t know if they would consider them American or not.
So this would be the people considered “Dreamers”. One interesting note is that people responded better towards the word “Dreamer” than they did to the words “Undocumented” and “illegal”. Most Americans consider “Dreamers” to be real Americans, but not illegals or undocumented people.
Mexico was the only country where more people saw undocumented immigrants that had lived in the country for most of their lives as being Mexican compared to those that didn’t. The majority of the people in the other 26 countries either didn’t see them as being a national or said they didn’t know.
Ethnicity and religion proved to be better predictors of if someone is considered a “real” national in other countries. In Saudi Arabia and Turkey for example, most people could not see someone as being a real Saudi or Turk unless they were a Muslim.
When it came to seeing Muslims as being nationals, Muslim countries were – predictably – the highest scorers. Among other countries, there were only four – France, Canada, the US, and South Africa – where a majority of people would see Muslims as being real nationals to their respective country. In Germany, a country that has allowed more Muslim refugees than any other European country, 47% of those questioned said Muslims are not real Germans, while 27% said they didn’t know. Hungary and Serbia were two countries where the outright majority said that Muslims are not real nationals.
Secular countries that have a history of separating church and state were shown to be more welcoming towards atheists, with Canada and France topping that particular list.
There was shown to be a major differential in attitudes in religion in the US, especially between left-and-right-leaning voters. 71% of leftwing voters said that they considered Muslims to be real Americans, compared to the 36% of right-leaning voters who said the same thing. It’s interesting to note that this differential was high when it came to atheism and other non-Christian religions too. Around 80% of leftwing voters said Jews were real Americans, compared to the 63% of rightwing Americans. 77% of leftwing Americans consider atheists to be real Americans compared to 52% rightwing, while the differential for Hinduism was 71% for the left and 41% for the right.
China, Turkey, and Serbia were the countries where most people feel that you aren’t a true citizen of the country if you were born in the country but have parents that were immigrants. That suggests there is a close link between someone’s ethnicity and their status as a national for those countries, rather than having the discussion be around citizenship.
Of the 27 countries that were surveyed, it was shown that people in the UK were the ones who were least likely to consider themselves as “real” Britons. This could be because there isn’t as much nationalism in Britain as there is in other countries, but Ipsos also suggests this could be because of an increase in Scottish nationalism that is seeing fewer people call themselves “British”. Belgium and Spain were two other countries with strong separatist movements and a surprising amount of people that didn’t consider themselves to be Belgian or Spanish respectively.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is a common name for the Permanent Residence Card or USCIS Form I-551.
The reason that they are called green cards is that they were originally made from green paper. The card has been made in other colours and has gone through a number of redesigns since this first issue, but it has always been called a green card. It is now green again but is no longer made of paper, and it has graphics and several fraud-resistant features that make the modern green card much more tamper-proof and secure than previous versions.
A holder of a green card is considered a permanent resident, but they are not afforded the same status as a “true” United States citizen. However, someone with a green card is eligible to apply for citizenship after spending several years as a permanent resident, with some exceptions made for those who marry an American citizen or enter the country as a refugee.
While a green card can be obtained through family, employment, investment, refugee status, or other special conditions, they are also given out in the Green Card Lottery. You can find more information about getting a green card through employment here.