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ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE. 1986 Sep; 487:201-12.US attitudes toward both legal and illegal immigration tended to be highly restrictionist during the 1st half of the 20th century. Both legislative and executive-branch policy supported this restrictionist outlook up until the 1940s, when a gradual liberalization of immigration policy toward refugees began to occur because of foreign policy requirements and the onset of the cold war. Although only a very small percentage of Americans have advocated increasing the number of immigrants, the percentage who feel that the numbers should be decreased began to decline during the 1950s and 1960s. Liberalization of public opinion and governmental policy occurred. During the past 15 years, however, public opinion and government policy began to diverge. Because of economic and other problems, Americans became more restrictionist toward immigrants, at least when surveyed by public opinion polls. But the government has difficulty implementing a more restrictionist policy for a variety of reasons, among them the strong lobbying efforts of pro-alien activist groups combined with American ambivalence toward the plight of immigrants as individuals. (author's)
Migration Today. 1984; 12(1):12-20.The 1980 Census showed California to have the largest foreign born population of any state: 513,000 Mexicans, 315,000 Asians, and 79,000 Central and Caribbean Americans. This paper, based on a 1982 California statewide survey of public opinion, assesses public sentiment toward foreign born persons and American immigration, refugee, and naturalization policies. Results show that 3/5 of those surveyed felt that foreign born immigrants made as good citizens as those born in the US; 22% said they made worse citizens, and 10% felt they made better citizens. Other results show that: 1) 3/5 of Californians would like to see the number of immigrants permitted into the US lowered, 2) 31% want to leave it unchanged, and 3) 5% want the number increased. Although 7 in 10 people viewed foreigners positively, 6 in 10 wanted fewer of them admitted. A large majority of respondents believe that US immigration laws should favor no region, while 1 in 5 subscribe to the idea of regional favoritism. With respect to which regions people would prefer to see limited as sources of new immigrants, 65% said Asia, 2/5 said the Caribbean, and 1/4 said the Middle East. Broken down by respondents, Jews had the highest average percentage most strongly favorable of allowing Cuban, Haitian, Russian, Vietnamese, and Central American refugees into the US; strong conservatives were the most disapproving. Jews, strong liberals, and postcollege graduates stood at opposite ends (on the matter of refugees) from strong conservatives, the least educated individuals, and the oldest. 4/5 of the respondents, including 87% of the post graduates and 48% of the Jews, believed that no change should be made in the 5 year wait required for refugees to apply for US citizenship. Overall, the subgroups most likely to reflect the liberal position were Jews, college educated persons, and those earning $40,000 or more; yet, they were not uniform in their responses with each other. Generally speaking, a stronger correlation exists between the various responses and age, education, and political philosophy, than with religious and foreign ancestry, income, and party affiliation.
International Migration/Migrations Internationales/Migraciones Internacionales. 1983; 21(4):440-462.Add to my documents.