End of Year 2023 – Immigration

Partisanship, Religion, and Media Consumption Contribute to Further Immigration Polarization

As politicians continue to debate how to address immigration, Americans’ views on the topic have become increasingly polarized, with Republicans becoming significantly more anti-immigrant in their attitudes over the past few years. This year, two reports published by PRRI, “Are Immigrants a Threat? Most Americans Don’t Think So” as well as the 2023 American Values Survey, examined Americans’ attitudes when it comes to immigrants and immigration policy.

PRRI’s first report of the year found that although Trump-era anti-immigrant narratives still resonate among certain portions of the American public, most Americans do not view immigrants as a threat. Writing for the Associated Baptist Press, Jeff Brumley noted that the survey results show Republicans and white evangelicals are outliers when it comes to immigration.

The report also finds that the “great replacement” conspiracy theory is becoming more mainstream among the political right. Among Americans who agree that God intended America to be a new promised land for European Christians, the majority (55%) also agree with replacement theory, with distinct partisan differences: 70% of Republicans who believe that God intended America to be a new promised land also view immigrants as an invading force compared with 39% of Democrats.

When it comes to election issues, PRRI’s 14th annual American Values Survey found that Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to say they would only vote for someone who shared their views on immigration (45% vs 29%). The survey also found increasing partisan divides when it comes to immigration policies like a pathway to citizenship, a border wall, and installing physical deterrents at the border. As Russell Contreras wrote for Axios, though the majority of Americans (52%) oppose installing deterrents such as walls, floating barriers in rivers, and razor wire to prevent immigrants from entering the country, these tactics are supported by around two-thirds of Republicans (77%) and white evangelical Protestants (74%).

Immigration Across the Headlines in 2023:

MSNBC: New Report Shatters Republican Immigration Myth

The Atlantic:

 Will Republicans Pay a Price for Extremism?

The Conversation: When Faith Says to Help Migrants – And the Law Says Don’t

Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s Latino Evangelicals Back DeSantis Amid Fear

National Catholic Reporter: Debunking Myths About Latino Vote

Axios: Percentage of Latino Catholics Eclipses White Evangelicals in Southwest