Republicans and Democrats have different top priorities for U.S. immigration policy

J. Baxter Oliphant and Andy Cerda
Date of Publication: 
September, 2022
Source Organization: 
Pew Research Center

Republicans and Democrats differ over the most pressing priorities for the nation’s immigration system. Republicans place particular importance on border security and deportations of immigrants who are in the country illegally, while Democrats place greater importance on paths to legal status for those who entered the country illegally – especially those who entered as children, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Still, there are some areas of overlap between Republicans and Democrats, and there are sizable ideological differences in immigration goals within each partisan coalition, with conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats expressing more intense views than others in their parties.

As the number of people apprehended for illegally crossing the southern border has reached record annual levels, about three-quarters of Americans (73%) say increasing security along the U.S.-Mexico border to reduce illegal crossings should be a very (44%) or somewhat (29%) important goal of U.S. immigration policy. Nearly all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (91%) say border security should be an important goal, while a smaller majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (59%) say the same, according to the survey of 7,647 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 1 to 14.

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Oliphant, B., & Cerda, A. (2022, September). Republicans and Democrats have different top priorities for U.S. immigration policy. Pew Research Center.