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50% of Americans worry great deal about illegal immigration

Staff Writer | March 20, 2017
Fifty-nine percent of Americans say they worry "a great deal" or "a fair amount" about illegal immigration.
Illegal immigration
America   Annual Environment poll
This level of concern is typical of what Gallup has measured over the past 17 years, apart from a window between 2006 and 2011 when roughly two-thirds of Americans expressed worry.

Each March, as part of its annual Environment poll, Gallup asks Americans how much they worry about a series of problems facing the U.S. Illegal immigration typically has ranked in the lower half of that list, even when concern about the issue was 70% or greater in 2006 and 2008.

Illegal immigration to the U.S. increased significantly between 2000 and 2005, and news media and government leaders paid increasing attention to the issue. In 2007, a bipartisan bill on immigration stalled in the U.S. Senate.

After that, concern about illegal immigration receded as the nation turned its attention to economic problems during and after the recession.

Also, illegal immigration to the U.S. has in recent years declined to the lowest level in decades. Still, it remains a key political issue and was a major focus of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and his early policy moves as president.

The declining recent concern has brought the level of public concern back to where it was before 2006.

From 2001 through 2005, an average of 58% of Americans worried a great deal or a fair amount about illegal immigration; since 2012, it has been 59%. Between 2006 and 2011, an average of 68% of Americans were worried about the problem.