The border crisis is constantly in the news these days, and it's gotten Americans concerned: One in six now say immigration is the most important problem facing the U.S. today. In June, only one in 20 Americans had the same answer.
A Gallup Poll released today shows that immigration is neck and neck with dissatisfaction with government for the title of most-important U.S. problem. Of the Americans polled, a combined 33 percent said that one of those two issues is the most pressing. The economy and unemployment follow as contenders for the focus of Americans' worry.
But a look at the historical data shows that immigration rarely ranks as high as it did in July. In January, only 3 percent called it the most pressing issue. By contrast, some facet of the economy has been the top concern for at least 40 percent of Americans since 2008, peaking at 86 percent in 2009.
The intermittent attention that immigration receives is driven in large part by events that thrust the issue into the spotlight. Concern over immigration last peaked once in 2010 and twice in 2006: The 2010 peak corresponded with news of a controversial immigration law in Arizona; 2006 saw congressional debate over immigration reform.