Support for decreasing immigration was eight times as common as support for increasing it was in 2004. Less than fifteen years later, support for decreasing immigration has dropped to just twice what support for increasing it is.
This shift is staggering. When I started digging into sentiments on immigration as the Trump candidacy was getting underway, I found myself repeatedly surprised by how much support for open borders blacks expressed. Others I shared the findings with were incredulous, too. After all, low-skilled immigrants take jobs that could otherwise go to blacks and they drive down wages for the blacks who do get jobs, etc etc.
My assumption when I discovered this during the Republican primaries was that I must not have been paying much attention to it in the past–my default assumption had been that black opposition to immigration was high, especially relative to white Democrats and Hispanics. Well, when I started blogging in 2005, it was–but it’s not anymore. Old America, white and black, was then largely in agreement regarding immigration–it wanted less of it. No longer.
The drop in restrictionism doesn’t begin in earnest until after Obama’s election (the 2008 figures pre-date the beginning of his actual presidency), so maybe si, se puede is the bulk of the explanation.
This is the only major demographic group whose sentiments haven’t changed much over the last fifteen years.
Sample sizes are small, a bit under 50 per year, so take the graph with a grain of salt. That said, the results wouldn’t look implausible if the sample size was an order of magnitude greater than it actually is.
GSS variables used: LETIN1A(1-2)(3)(4-5), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10), HISPANIC(1)(2-50), YEAR