Watch CBSN Live

Where Americans stand on immigration

CBS News polls

Immigration was one of the topics covered in the latest CBS News Poll -- here's a closer look at those findings. There is division among the American public on some of the components of recently unveiled proposals for legal immigration endorsed by President Trump, but most remain opposed to a border wall.

President Trump backs GOP immigration overhaul

Forty-six percent of Americans prefer the U.S. give priority to immigrants based on education, job skills and work experience, while 44 percent think those with family members here should be given priority.

When the CBS News poll last asked this question in 2013, nearly six in 10 thought priority should be given based on education and work skills. 


Indicative of how opinions are often shaped by partisanship these days, this shift in opinion is largely due to changing views among Democrats (and independents). Now, more than half of Democrats (54 percent) think family members should have priority but four years ago a majority (57 percent) thought entry in the U.S. should be based mostly on education and work skills. Republicans' views have held steady with most saying preference should be based on education and work skills.


Americans are less supportive of requiring legal immigrants to speak English when they arrive in the U.S. More than half oppose (55 percent) such a requirement. Older Americans are likely than those who are young.


Overall, Americans feel legal immigration into the U.S. should be kept at the level it is (43 percent), rather than increased (23 percent) or decreased (30 percent). Republicans are more likely than Democrats and independents to want legal immigration decreased.

As for the President, Mr. Trump gets negative marks on his handling of the issue of immigration – 57 percent disapprove.

The border wall

Most Americans continue to oppose a wall along the southern border of the U.S. to help stop illegal immigration, although seven in 10 Republicans favor it.


And even if the wall is built, 85 percent think the U.S. will foot the bill, up six points from January. Only one in 10 think Mexico will pay. 


Those who support the border wall also don't think Mexico will pay for it – 70 percent say it will be the U.S. Just 23 percent believe Mexico would end up paying.

View CBS News In