Most voters in California, including the majority of Republicans, think that immigrants make the United States a better place to live, according to a new poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
The survey, conducted on behalf of the Los Angeles Times, shows that more than three-quarters of registered voters think immigrants make this country better. The vast majority of Democrats and more than half of Republicans agree.
- 80% of registered voters said immigration makes the U.S. a better place.
- 92% of Democrats said immigration makes the U.S. a better place.
- 60% of Republicans said immigration makes the U.S. a better place.
"Lots and lots of people here are transplants or descendants of immigrants," Cristina Mora, the co-director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, told the L.A. Times. "The idea of an immigrant in California is different. Here, we understand immigrants as part of Silicon Valley, as students, as entrepreneurs — as part of a wide and varied landscape."
The survey also found that just over half of voters think immigrants are treated unfairly in the U.S., with less than a third disagreeing. Millenials are most likely to agree that immigrants are treated unfairly, when compared to "baby-boomers" over the age of 54.
"When I started teaching there, it was the time of Prop 187. That was those boomers voting," said UCLA's Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, an immigration expert, referring to the 1994 ballot measure that barred illegal immigrants from public education and healthcare, among other public services. "We just had a class where we're reading the argument that the Republican politicians made about Prop 187 and the young students were shocked, across the spectrum of race and class."
The poll surveyed 4,527 registered voters in California online, in English and Spanish, from September 13-18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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