Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Immigration: The U.S. vs. the rest of the world

Compared to the rest of the world, American citizens must be much more pro-immigrant, right, because our immigration policy is so liberal.

The World Values Survey asked thousands of respondents from all over the world about the right immigration policy for their country. Here is the distribution for the full sample (sample size = 68,171):

Immigration policy--percent

Let anyone come 13.1
As long as jobs are available 38.6
Strict limits 37.7
Prohibit people from coming 10.6

And here are the responses from Americans:

Let anyone come 6.8
As long as jobs are available 36.6
Strict limits 48.9
Prohibit people from coming 7.6

While the modal category for the world is "as long as jobs are available," it is "strict limits" for Americans. Americans are more conservative than the rest of the world on this issue, but our policies are much more permissive. It's a government of elites, by elites, for elites.   

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