POLL: Americans Overwhelmingly Want Merit-Based Immigration

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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The vast majority of Americans prefer an immigration system which prioritizes immigrants who contribute to the U.S. over a family based system, a new Harvard-Harris poll finds.

The broad based U.S. representative poll found that 84 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that immigration policy in the U.S. “should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America”. Only 16 percent agreed with the statement that it “Should be based on a person having relatives in the U.S.”

The lowest support for a merit-based immigration system was 69 percent among African-Americans and 75 percent held among self identified “Democrats” and “liberals.” Eighty-three percent of Hispanic respondents agreed with the statement posed.

President Donald Trump has strongly advocating for a merit-based immigration system telling CPAC on Friday, “I want people coming into this country based on merit…I want people, and we all want to be admitting people, who have skills, who can support themselves financially, who can contribute to our economy, who will love our people, and who will share our values, who will love our country.”

Trump has asked for an end to family-based chain migration in exchange for a deal codifying DACA protections into law. The president is also asking for an end to the diversity visa lottery program along with funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.