What can a survey tell us about USA Immigration?

In 2021, the Cato Institute conducted its Immigration and Identity Survey. This involved 2,600 US adults from varying backgrounds to gauge public opinion towards immigration in the USA. The purpose was to provide data for law reform, if necessary, and to see how attitudes have changed in recent years.

The Cato Institute

The survey specifically used oversamples of Latin and Asian Americans due to the increased likelihood that they would have family involved in immigration processes. A brief summary of the results is discussed below.

Section 1: Thoughts on Immigration

Generally, attitudes towards immigration were favorable and the portion of respondents wanting to see more immigration has increased. Around 29% of respondents want to increase migration, compared to 7% in the 1990s. Similarly, 33% want to see less, down from 65% from the previous survey.

Respondents were also asked about why they think people want to decrease immigration. 57% believe it’s due to protecting US borders, while 43% say it’s due to racist beliefs. This second response rose to 70% among Democrats, while 88% of Republicans believe the desire isn’t racially motivated.

Section 2: Thoughts on Immigration Reform

Immigration reform is of course an important (yet divisive) topic. Regarding hiring employees, 66% of the respondents believe companies should be able to hire whoever is best for the job, while the remaining third believe they should prioritize US-born workers.

Similarly, 63% of Americans believe there should be a new immigration visa for entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, this belief carried across political lines, with 70% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans in favor. Even more surprisingly, 53% of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters were in favor of this idea.

When asked about the legal immigration process, 67% thought it was too difficult and 52% believe it should be faster. This same percentage believe it should take less than 5 years, while 28% believe it should stay the same. The remaining respondents thought it should take longer. Importantly, 53% believe that making the process faster and simpler would reduce illegal immigration.

Section 3: The Benefits of Immigration

When asked about the benefits of immigration, 42% thought it’s mainly good for the country, while another 42% thought it’s both good and bad. Similarly, 61% believe immigration enriches the country and 49% believe it increases diversity of thought and culture.

Although nearly half of respondents see benefit from immigration, only 29% want to see it increased. In short, this boils down to fear of consequences related to immigration, such as strain on public services and reduction in jobs. Similarly, around 47% believe immigration will increase the risk of terrorism, even though there’s no clear evidence for this fact.


Surveying Americans is one of the best ways to build a clear picture of public opinion. Realistically, this survey is useful but sheds little light on revolutionary thoughts regarding immigration. Importantly, a sample size of 2,600 is fairly low and so it might be unreasonable to extrapolate these findings to cover all Americans. Whether this information will lead to any significant immigration reforms remains to be seen, too.

But one thing is certain with President Biden in the White House immigration looks much brighter than ever before. Recently President Biden has recommended that the 55,000 available Green Cards for the Diversity Visa Lottery should be increased to 80,000, that’s an increase of 25,000 Green Card a year I highly appreciated among immigrants all over the world.

So, if your dream is to live and work in the United States then apply today, don’t miss out on this great opportunity get your Diversity Visa Lottery application submitted today. Apply directly for the official 2021 Green Card Lottery now on: www.usgreencardoffice.com/apply

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