The Immigration Question

American attitudes toward immigration are hardening, according to a new Gallup poll. Half of all Americans say immigration should be "decreased" - up 11 points from 39 percent last year. 

1csccmbwnk

Anti-immigration sentiment is growing across all major political groupings. Some 61 percent of Republicans say they would like to see immigration decreased, up from 46 percent in 2008, compared to 46 percent of Democrats, up from 39 percent; and 44 percent of Independents, up from 37 percent.

Southerners show the greatest anti-immigration sentiment with 54 percent saying they would like to see immigration decreased, followed by easterners (51 percent), midwesterners (48 percent), and westerners (44 percent).

The poll also saw a shift in American attitudes toward whether "immigration is a good or a bad thing for the country" with more than a third (36 percent) saying it is a bad thing.

Gallup notes that this marks "a return to the attitudes that prevailed in the first few years after 9/11."

Immigration in America has gone in great cycles over the past century or two. While immigration has typically fallen during economic crises, the U.S. has prospered from its relative openness to global talent. America saw an influx of leading scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and musicians during the Great Depression which helped bolster its position at the frontiers of science, technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts during the long post-war boom.

Economic crises are transformative periods when talent flows can be reset and countries and regions rise and decline. The future belongs to those countries and regions that can attract the best and brightest across the entire world.

Growing anti-immigrant sentiment, should it continue, is bad news for American technology, entrepreneurship, and the economy in general. Let's hope it turns around.

Presented by

Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

From This Author

Just In