Inside the Beltway: Just 8% of Americans favor unlimited immigration


The answer to that question is complex, but revealing. Among Americans, a hefty majority say that the total number of immigrants admitted to the U.S. each year should be 1 million or less according to a substantial new survey from the Cato Institute. Only 8% of the respondents agreed that “as many as want to come should be allowed in the U.S.” — while 9% said the number admitted should be zero, as in “0.”

Here are the essential findings: 19% of the respondents a year would prefer 1 million immigrants be admitted; 17% said 500,000, while 16% said 25,000.

Another 12% favored 100,000; 7% said 50,000 was the preferred number. Just 3% were comfortable with admitting 5 million immigrants in a year, while 1% favored admitting 10 million.

“Although most people believe immigration is a human right, only a third (33%) want to ‘eliminate all restrictions on immigration’ and allow anyone to move here after the pandemic. Furthermore, only about a third (29%) want to increase immigration from its current levels,” wrote Emily Elkins and David Kemp, who compiled the results of the wide-ranging poll.

“Taking the results together suggests that people feel empathy for those who wish to immigrate to a new country to seek better opportunities, but they may not be comfortable with many people doing it all at once,” they said. 

The Cato Institute 2021 Immigration and Identity National survey of 2,600 U.S. adults was conducted March 5-15 and released Wednesday.


Would-be immigrants to the U.S. are now arriving from Central America, Haiti, Africa, Indonesia, and from all over South America, often in large groups of 50 to 100. Many are headed to the remote and “normally quiet Big Bend Sector” of the U.S./Mexico border, reports Todd Bensman, a Texas-based national security fellow of the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-profit research organization.

The Rio Grande is a popular site these days.

“Eighteen-wheeler tractor-trailer rigs and trucks of all sizes now pull right up to the river in unending succession to unload people and drug cargo in broad daylight along the long empty stretches of riverside territory,” Mr. Bensman wrote.

“Police chases of immigrant transport vehicles are now commonplace in towns further inland for the first time. And Border Patrol agents, largely unreinforced despite new circumstances, are chasing groups through the desert day and night, losing most and strained beyond capacity to impact what’s happening, they say,” Mr. Bensman continued.

“It’s never been this busy,” advised an agent who has served in the Van Horn Station Area for more than a decade.


One political consultant is now recommending that Caitlyn Jenner up the ante on her Republican campaign for California governor, still under a week old.

“She hasn’t spoken a word in public,” noted a new Associated Press analysis, advising that such a silence can be a “risk” for the candidate if it drags on for too long.

“That will become the first impression —  that she doesn’t have anything to say,” Rob Stutzman, a veteran GOP consultant who advised Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 California recall election, told AP.

“People will move on and become dismissive,” Mr. Stutzman warned.

But California Gov. Gavin Newsom, now facing a recall in his state, is not dismissing anything. He has already sent out fundraising appeals hooked to the Jenner campaign.

“We’re going to need help keeping up with Caitlyn’s personal wealth and ability to raise money from right-wing donors,” the governor noted in his outreach.


Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas has revealed that his agency is extending the “REAL ID full enforcement date” by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023. The ongoing pandemic challenges have played a role.

In case you forgot, the Real ID features enhanced security features and was established by “The REAL ID Act,” which was passed by Congress in 2005 and set minimum security standards for IDs. Currently, just 43% of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are REAL ID-compliant. 

But things are looking up.

“Getting to REAL ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID shut down DMVs for extended periods. Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can’t afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic,” noted the U.S. Travel Association, which calls the extension “the right move.”


During the week of April 19-25, Fox News remained the highest-rated cable news network for the 10th consecutive week, according to Nielsen. 

Fox enjoyed 2.3 million prime-time viewers, MSNBC was in second place with 1.5 million, followed by HGTV (1.3 million), Turner Network Television (1.1 million), ESPN (1,073,000) and CNN (1,003,000). In the battle of morning shows, “Fox & Friends” led the competition with 1.2 million viewers; the newly launched “New Day” on CNN drew 512,000.

For those seeking a moment with former President Donald Trump, Fox Business Network’s global markets editor Maria Bartiromo will present an exclusive live interview with Mr. Trump on Thursday during “Mornings with Maria” at 7 a.m. EDT, the network says. 


44% would like U.S. politics to be “steady” in the next four years; 34% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree.

41% want politics to be “normal”; 39% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 45% of Democrats agree.

22% want politics to be “shaken up”; 26% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.

17% want politics to be “exciting”; 8% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.

15% want politics to be “unpredictable”; 16% of Republicans, 14% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.

15% want politics to be “boring”; 14% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS/YouGov poll of 2,527 U.S. adults conducted April 21-24. Respondents could give multiple answers. 

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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