How Americans’ View of Immigrants Differs From Europeans

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 3:33 pm (UTC-5)
14 comments

New citizens wave American flags during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony on the campus of Florida International University, July 6, 2015, in Miami, Florida. (AP Photo)

New citizens wave American flags during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony on the campus of Florida International University, July 6, 2015, in Miami, Florida. (AP Photo)

In his address to the U.S. Congress this week, Pope Francis urged American leaders to welcome immigrants who come to the United States with respect and empathy.

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War,” the pontiff said. “We must not be taken aback by their numbers…but rather view them as persons…to respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.”

A new poll suggests a slim majority of Americans agree with the pope’s compassionate view of immigrants. While 41 percent of Americans said immigrants are a burden to the country, because they take jobs, housing and health care, 51 percent disagreed, saying immigrants strengthen the United States with their hard work and talents.

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American attitudes have evolved a bit since 1994, when 63 percent of Americans said immigrants were a burden and just 31 percent thought their presence helped strengthen the nation.

The United States is home to 41 million immigrants, the largest immigrant population in the world. America also boasts the largest economy of any of the nations in the Pew Research Center survey.

Pope Francis has also encouraged European Catholics to welcome some of the thousands of migrants flowing in from Syria and other countries.

The pope’s call might be most welcome in Germany, where 66 percent of people believe the foreign-born make their country stronger. Six million immigrants — born outside the European Union — live in Germany, which has one of the strongest economies in Europe. However, in a 2014 survey, a majority of Germans believed immigrants were failing to assimilate and made overall crime worse.

In Great Britain — home to 5.2 million people born outside the EU — 52 percent of respondents have a positive view of immigrants.

While Americans, the British and Germans hold the most positive views of immigrants, Greeks and Italians hold the most negative views, with vast majorities saying immigrants are a burden. The economies of both of those countries have struggled in recent years, and both nations are feeling the heavy impact of waves of African and Middle Eastern migrants.

14 responses to “How Americans’ View of Immigrants Differs From Europeans”

  1. lgp says:

    The Multiculturalists have always come up with numbers on how we love Immigration from Central and South America. The truth is that most U.S. Citizens do not want any more Immigration and would like to have the border secured and the Illegals deported. You have to ask yourself why to this date is the border still open. Do we not protect our citizens?

  2. lgp says:

    I don’t believe that some how between the nineties and now we changed our minds. What has happened is the Government has stalled not doing it’s job of protecting the Citizen of this country. Hence the reason Trump is doing well. It will only get worse in the future if this lie is kept going.

  3. Mike says:

    Mass migration into Europe means for the racial/cultural replacement of Europe’s indigenous people and cultures. That’s why the left welcomes it with open arms. What is democratic about Forced Multiculturalism on a people? I believe multiculturalism used to be called….Colonialism. I believe deliberately creating conditions and polices that are meant to bring about the racial and cultural replacement of one group of people in favor of another, use to be called…..Ethnic Cleansing.

  4. Ed Callender says:

    RESPECT & EMPATHY IS RESERVED FOR THOSE WHO COME HERE LEGALLY THROUGH THE LEGAL IMMIGRATION PROCESS.
    ALL MUSLIMS TO MUSLIM COUNTRIES ONLY. DO NOT ALLOW THE POPE, THE BLEEDING HEARTS AND THE USELESS “UN” TO DESTROY THE USA LIKE THEY HAVE DONE TO EUROPE. BEING A BREEDER DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO STEAL FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY WHAT THEIR CITIZENS HAVE CREATED AND BUILT. FIX YOUR OWN, COUNTRY, PRACTICE BIRTH CONTROL.
    OVERPOPULATION IS THE PRIMARY REASON FOR POVERTY. FRANCIS SHOULD BE PREACHING BIRTH CONTROL NOT ACCEPTANCE OF DESTROYING ALL RESOURCES BY OVERPOPULATING THE WORLD. LET WASHINGTON KNOW, NO MUSLIM EXPANSION ON THE TAXPAYERS DIME, NO REWARDS FOR BREAKING OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS, NO WELFARE IMMIGRATION.
    IMMIGRATION SHOULD BE ALLOWED ONLY IF THEIR SKILL SET IS NEEDED BY AMERICA, NONE THAT DRAINS AMERICA. THE CHURCH CAN TAKE CARE OF THOSE IT ENCOURAGES TO BREED INTO POVERTY.

  5. Lg says:

    Because we are trying so hard to let these people in our country who hate us,want to kill us, and will do anything to drain our resources..

  6. RETUSAF says:

    If Europe had over 20 million illegal aliens they would feel different. That’s 20 million illegal aliens plus millions of legal immigrants.

    • Linda Pharris says:

      Statistics show a decline in Mexica immigration. I say it’s because they are all here already. 20 million. They work all jobs not just the agricultural fields. A closed border for any immigration should be set for 5 years. Take that time to process all of those who are here first then when all is straight reset how many immigrants can immigrate to U.S. When you have the majority of your immigration and border patrol officers families had enter US illegally and have amnesty. Now they work on the southern borders. I even watched as a high supervisor would go to Mexico every week to speak on the Mexican radio and tv giving them advise how to enter the US. I’m angry at what I saw and don’t see any changes going to be made until the governments reevaluates who can be an immigration, border patrol or customs officer. And what I saw were illegals coming over and over just being walked back to Mexico after they were caught.

  7. Kathy Kalb says:

    It’s an invasion, these refugees are not coming to assimilate. There coming to take over, and cause chaos!

    • Linda Pharris says:

      I agree with you 100%. I worked on the southern border (California and Mexico) for over 10 1/2 years. I saw so much corruption. Illegals being able to get visitor visas continuously each year. They would go into US and then show up at border to apply for new visa. I watched as my immediate Supervisor was arrested and spent time in jail for smuggling and defrauding the aliens out of lots of money. I watched as Customs supervisors would approve anyone to come in US cause they didn’t want to return them Mexico. I watched one Customs officer live full time in Mexico with his Hispanic girlfriend and would cross border everyday to get to work. He also tried to get his newborn into the US without the proper paperwork. Lots of illegal aliens just said they were going to Disneyland and we’re giving 6 months permit to be in US over and over. I have more but I’m fuming.

  8. Derrick says:

    The pope can say whatever he wants given there is no influx of Syrian immigrants to the Vatican but lets move 100,000 immigrants to the Vatican City and lets see how that goes.

  9. Marcus Aurelius II says:

    Except for about 1% or less of “Native Americans” who were also referred to as Indians (Columbus mistakenly thought he’d reached India, his goal when he set sail west) ALL Americans are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Many immigrants are initially a burden to society but given a chance most assimilate and become productive contributors. Their children are almost always indistinguishable from other Americans. There should be a clear distinction between legal migrants, legal visitors, legal asylum seekers, and illegal migrants. This last category which is estimated to comprise about 11 million people living in the US are mostly here looking for work. The solution is to devise a legal guest worker program with specific employers who cannot find substitutes from people legally here, make these employers responsible for their health care, etc., give them no guaranteed path to citizenship, and enforce our borders by deporting all other illegals and physically securing and patrolling the borders effectively. This can be paid for by the reduction of remittances the illegals who are not needed. Remittances are money sent outside the US, usually back to their families. While many in foreign countries depend on them, this money is being taken away from those here legally.

    Europeans by contrast cling to a notion of an individual culture and identity tied to the land over long historic periods. They see migrants as diluting that culture and identity. Their problem is that they have aging and dwindling populations and without new blood have one more reason they can’t compete with the outside world. Multiculturalism they practice means in effect isolation of the migrants who never are allowed to fully assimilate. This is now a real threat to the very survival, one more of their badly thought out blunders that dooms them.

  10. Ole says:

    I doubt that statistics. Most European does not think immigration from non-European countries strenghtens their nations.

  11. Marcus Aurelius II says:

    I’ve seen and read a lot of prognostications lately about how America is in decline, how the dollar will collapse, how China will overtake America, and there are a lot of absurd statistics to back it up. This has to be the most preposterous nonsense. In every era there’s someone who will overtake America. Nazi Germany, the USSR, Japan, The EU, and now it’s China. But the reality is far different. America is the only country that is constantly reinventing itself and holds its fate entirely in its own hands. It goes through some bad patches but comes out stronger every time. It’s been through far worse than it faces now. The economies of most of the world are collapsing but not the US economy. The US will continue to lead all other nations until it shuts the door to legal immigration. That is the only way short of being physically destroyed by nuclear war that the US could decline. As for other nations, too bad for them. Their societies are structured in a way that they could never catch up and could never copy America no matter how hard they try. Small wonder they are so jealous.

  12. Marcus Aurelius II says:

    I have seen first hand heartbreaking poverty in Mexico. I’ve seen armies of five year olds in Cabo San Luca just outside the luxury hotels chase me to sell me two chicklets in a box for 5 cents. I’ve seen flea market vendors in Zihuatanejo mexico try to sell me their nine year old daughters as prostitutes for a few dollars. I saw a mother and her two naked kids living on the streets of Acapulco. Are some gaming our system? You bet they are. But there is human tragedy on a massive scale that even my hard heart can hardly bear. If this was in Afghanistan or Bangladesh I’d dismiss it as a shame but far away. But this is right on our border. Corrupt officials in our government, conservatives who want armies of cheap labor to be exploited picking produce for next to nothing and dumping the burden on US taxpayers, liberals who want to give all of our wealth away to the world are not going to solve this problem. We do need to protect our borders. We do need to get rid of illegals taking jobs from Americans because they are paid below minimum wage and can easily be cheated and exploited. A guest worker program to supply labor we need that Americans don’t want at any price should be created with no path to citizenship or permanent residency. But what we have now is no longer viable. The current situation creates a threat to American security. We must fight the corruption of the Mexican government and end the drugs for guns trade across our borders.

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