Democrats, establishment Republicans, and the media have lambasted President Trump’s immigration proposal, the RAISE Act, claiming it’s un-American, unpopular, and against the values inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Despite their onslaught, a new poll released on Wednesday by Politico/Morning Consult shows most Americans support the plan, including millennials.
The RAISE Act would significantly cut the amount of low-skilled immigrants who enter the United States via family reunification or chain migration. Instead, the new immigration law would have a merit-based system for workers based on skills, income, education, age, fluency in English, and the ability to take care of oneself and their family. The RAISE Act would also end diversity visas, which are given out as a lottery to nations who are underrepresented in our immigration system. It would also end the EB-5 visa, which allows wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship so long as they invest money into the country.
Overall, the number of immigrants entering the U.S. would drop from more than one million annually to about 500,000, which is about where it was throughout the 1970s and 80s.
According to the poll, a plurality of all Americans, including millennials, believe the U.S. takes in too many low-skilled and too few high-skilled workers, which the RAISE Act addresses.
A plurality of millennials said America should prefer applicants who speak English (48 percent), are willing to become entrepreneurs (42 percent), and are less likely to need government assistance (46 percent). 43 percent of millennials want to limit the number of refugees, and 44 percent want to end diversity visas.
More than 50 percent of millennials also said a prospective immigrant’s educational achievement should also play a role in whether or not they’re allowed to come to the U.S. They also said merit and ability should be better qualifiers over family reunification.
Nearly a super majority of all voters, 62 percent, supported the creation of a merit-based system, including 56 percent of millennials.
Surprisingly, millennials were also the most supportive generation in putting age as a determining factor in whether or not someone could move to America. A third supported the idea, while half opposed.
Overall, 48 percent of American voters favor reducing legal immigration by half over the next few years to 39 percent who are opposed to slashing immigration numbers. Millennials are less supportive than the nation as a whole: 39 percent favored reducing immigration numbers overall, while 44 percent opposed.
Strong levels of support for most of the main points of the RAISE Act means Republicans have nothing to lose by supporting it, and Democrats cannot win using the issue to galvanize most Americans into voting for them the way they could with the repeal of Obamacare. This is looking to be a win-win issue.