Transatlantic Trends has released a public opinion survey: “The results of the 2011 Transatlantic Trends: Immigration survey captures U.S. and European public opinion on a range of immigration and integration issues. The most important highlights of this year’s survey show
- 1) there is a remarkable stability of general immigration opinions over time,
- 2) the public supports European Union burden-sharing on migration resulting from the Arab Spring and increasingly favors European responsibility for setting immigrant admissions numbers, and
- 3) the public tends to favor highly educated immigrants but still prefers immigrants with a job offer.
Now in its fourth year, Transatlantic Trends: Immigration (TTI) measures public opinion on immigration and integration issues on both sides of the Atlantic. The countries included in the 2011 version of the survey were the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain…. [***]
Key Findings of the Survey – General Perceptions – Stability in Public Opinion: Basic public stances on immigration have not changed notably in the last year, even in Europe where the perceived threat of movement resulting from the Arab Spring was a central issue. Immigration remained a second order concern for the public, following the economy and unemployment. Perceptions of immigration as a problem or opportunity have changed little since 2008, the first year of the survey. In 2011, 52% of Europeans and 53% of Americans polled saw immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity, with the strongest pessimism in the United Kingdom (68%)…. [***]
Forced Migration, the Arab Spring, and Burden-sharing – Sympathy for Forced Migration for Various Reasons. The public was sympathetic to the plight of migrants forced to flee their homes for a number of reasons: to avoid persecution, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Fewer but still a majority of respondents were also in favor of accepting migrants seeking to avoid poverty. Respondents in Spain (76%), Italy (68%), and the United States (64%) were the most supportive of those fleeing poor economic conditions, compared to a European average of 58%.
Key Findings of the Survey – Forced Migration, the Arab Spring, and Burden-Sharing – Dealing with the Arab Spring: Europeans in general were very open to helping countries in North Africa and the Middle East experiencing the turmoil and aftermath of the Arab Spring with either trade (84% in favor) or development aid (79% in favor), though they were wary of opening their labor markets to migrants from the region (47% in favor) and would prefer that migrants who were admitted stay only temporarily. Eighty percent of European respondents supported European burden-sharing to cope with the flows emanating from the region….[***]”
Click here for TTI Key Findings statement.
Click here for TTI Report.
Click here for TTI Topline Data.