Max Fisher compares Britain and America in the immigration debate:
Foreign-born residents make up slightly more than ten percent of the population in both the U.S. and UK, with grants of asylum accounting for about one percent of new residents. However, 10.7 million of the 38 million foreign-born U.S. residents are here unlawfully, making them three times as likely to reside illegally as the 6.7 million UK migrants, about one in ten of whom are illegal immigrants. That could help explain why Britons like the woman Brown offended worry about legal immigrants while Americans talk primarily about illegal immigrants. A recent poll showed 77 percent of Britons want immigration cut and more than half want it reduced by "a lot." In the U.S., 73 percent want illegal immigration decreased and 60 percent see it as a "very serious" problem. The fact that Britons hold similar attitudes despite mostly legal immigration suggests that the number of immigrants is more important to provoking anti-immigration backlash than whether those immigrants are here legally.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.