A majority of undecided voters say they see immigration as a labor issue, supporting reductions to legal immigration in order to protect the United States labor market from cheap, foreign competition, a survey finds.
A new Reuters/Ipsos Poll for the group Public Agenda reveals that undecided voters are most supportive of reducing legal immigration when it is put in terms of protecting U.S. jobs for Americans over importing foreign workers.
The poll finds that a majority of 53 percent of undecided voters support “stopping some legal immigration to limit competition for jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.” About 47 percent oppose such a plan.
Reuters political reporter Chris Kahn acknowledged that the findings show President Trump can “peel off some support” from Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris by clarifying immigration as a labor issue, first and foremost.
“Bottom line: Trump can win over some voters if he rationalizes immigration policies as a way to protect the U.S., slow down COVID,” Kahn wrote.
While most have positive views about immigration, many support limits if that means helping Americans keep their jobs and protect the country from COVID-19.
— Chris Kahn (@Cmkahn) August 14, 2020
The poll also showed large support for prosecuting businesses that hire illegal aliens over Americans. About 69 percent of swing voters said it is important for the government to fine businesses hiring illegal aliens. Nearly four-in-ten of those voters said the issue is “very important” to them. Just 26 percent of swing voters said it is not important.
In recent months, Trump has angled immigration as a labor issue — releasing an ad against Biden that highlights Democrat plans to fill U.S. jobs with foreign nationals and signing an executive order to halt visa programs so unemployed Americans are prioritized for scarce U.S. jobs.
Another Ipsos poll published last week showed huge support among the American electorate for halting visa programs to protect U.S. jobs for unemployed Americans, rather than allowing business to import foreign workers.
In that poll, nearly 6-in-10 voters said they support a ban on foreign visa workers while tens of millions of Americans are jobless, a rebuke of the Chamber of Commerce and Big Tech lobbies efforts to continue importing foreign workers amid mass unemployment.
There are currently 30 to 40 million unemployed and underemployed Americans, all of whom want full-time employment with competitive wages and good benefits. Economists have found that their job opportunities and wages can be easily diminished by high immigration levels.
One particular study by the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steven Camarota revealed that for every one percent increase in the immigrant portion of American workers’ occupation, their weekly wages are cut by perhaps 0.5 percent. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wages reduced by potentially 8.75 percent, since more than 17 percent of the workforce is foreign-born.
The high immigration policy is a boon for giant corporations, real estate investors, Wall Street, university systems, and Big Agriculture that can cash in on an economy that offers low wages to a flooded U.S. labor market.
The poll surveyed 3,335 voters, 379 of which are undecided between Trump and Biden, between July 31 and August 4. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.