Influx of Illegal Minors From Central America Rekindles Immigration Debate

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Americans are growing impatient with President Obama for his handling of the recent surge of unaccompanied children from Central America entering the U.S. illegally.  While his overall approval ratings remain unchanged since January 2014 at 44 percent, only 28 percent approve of the way he has been handling this latest immigration issue.

The public (especially Republicans and Independents) now favors changing current immigration policy to speed up the process of returning the children to their home countries.  Democrats appear divided on the issue.

In addition, while "the public remains supportive of a broad revamp of the immigration system to allow people in the U.S. illegally to gain legal status if they meet certain requirements [...] overall support for a path to legal status has slipped to 68% from 73% in February."  This attitude change is most noticeable among Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the Tea Party: whereas they favored a path to legal status 56-41 percent in February 2014, they now oppose it 56-41 percent.  By contrast, support for a path to legal status slipped only 4 percentage points among Democrats and Independents.

In-keeping with these findings, a growing share of Americans now views the passage of immigration legislation as an important priority. The increase can be seen among all surveyed, except Hispanics for whom there has been virtually no change in opinion over the last few months.

Read more: resources:
"Global Migration Patterns" Lesson Plan (
Spatial Variation in immigrant and minority incorporation: Are there advantages to being a racial or ethnic minority in a low or moderate immigration state? (
Immigration in the U.S. (
Migration Service Learning Plan (
Frederique Laubepin

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