ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 29 LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire — In the United…

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 29 LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire — In the United States, the battle on immigration has intensified as the White House and Congressional leaders debate over compromise legislation on this issue. But concerns over immigration and what to do about it are not limited to the U.S. Two-thirds (67%) of British adults, 55 percent of adults in both Germany and Italy and 45 percent of adults in Spain believe there are too many immigrants in their country. While a little less, one-third of adults in both France (32%) and the U.S. (35%) believe that their country has too many legal immigrants. One thing to note is that France is the only country where a majority (52%) believes the number of legal immigrants is about right.

These are some of the results of an International Herald Tribune/Harris Poll which was conducted online by Harris Interactive(R) among a total of 6,520 adults (aged 16 and over), within France (1,125); Germany (1,133); Great Britain (1,088); Spain (987); the United States (1,012), and 1,174 adults (aged 18 and over) in Italy, between May 2 and 14, 2007.

While many may believe there are too many immigrants in their country, the attitude towards immigration, on the whole, is not that bad. Majorities in the U.S (59%), France (54%), Spain (53%) and Italy (51%) and just under half of adults in Germany (48%) all say that immigration helps their country. The British are the only ones that seem to think differently; as half of British adults (54%) say that immigration harms their country while just one-third (36%) say it helps.

Legal immigrants and voting

When it comes to legal immigrants and voting, attitudes of U.S. adults are a bit stricter than those of Europeans. More than half (53%) of U.S. adults believe that legal immigrants should not be allowed to vote in any elections. This is much lower in Europe, ranging from 28 percent in France who believe this to 38 percent in Great Britain who think legal immigrants should not vote in any elections. However, this does not mean they should be allowed to vote unconditionally. Over one-third of adults in all five European countries as well as one in five (22%) U.S. adults, think that legal immigrants should be allowed to vote in all elections after several years of legal residence.

Illegal immigrants

One thing that adults in all the countries agree on is that border controls against illegal immigrants in their respective countries are too relaxed. More than three-quarters of those in Great Britain (80%) and Italy (78%) as well as 73 percent of U.S. adults believe their border controls are too relaxed. Majorities in Spain (62%), France (56%) and Germany (54%) also believe this.

The question is, however, what to do about these illegal immigrants and here there is a definite disagreement. Six in ten adults in Italy (60%), Great Britain (59%) and Germany (54%) say all illegal immigrants should be expelled. However, 14 percent of Germans also say illegal immigrants with children should be allowed to stay, but all others should be expelled.

Adults in Spain and the U.S. are more closely aligned. Just under half (46%) of U.S. adults and 43 percent of Spanish adults believe all illegal immigrants should be expelled. But 15 percent of U.S. and Spanish adults also believe that amnesty should be granted to all illegal immigrants–this is the highest among all six countries. One-third (34%) of French adults believe all illegal immigrants should be expelled while one in five (19%) would allow illegal immigrants with children attending school to stay, but would expel all others.

TABLE 1
NUMBER OF LEGAL IMMIGRANTS
“Are there too many or too few legal immigrants in [your country]?”
Base: All US Adults and EU adults in five countries

United Great
States France Germany Britain Italy Spain
% % % % % %
Too few 13 5 6 3 9 10
About right 43 52 33 20 26 28
Too many 35 32 55 67 55 45
Not sure 9 10 7 10 10 17

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 2
BENEFITS OF IMMIGRATION
“In your opinion, does immigration help or harm your country?”
Base: All US adults and EU adults in five countries

United Great
States France Germany Britain Italy Spain
% % % % % %
Helps (NET) 59 54 48 36 51 53
Definitely
helps 25 18 16 10 14 12
Somewhat 34 36 32 26 38 42
helps
Harms (NET) 31 32 43 54 41 34
Somewhat 18 23 26 28 24 24
harms
Definitely 13 9 18 27 17 10
harms
No opinion 10 14 9 10 8 13
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 3
LEGAL IMMIGRATION AND ELECTIONS

“In which of the following elections should legal immigrants who are not yet

citizens have a right to vote?”
Base: All US adults and EU adults in five countries

United Great
States France Germany Britain Italy Spain
% % % % % %
Legal immigrants
should not be
allowed to vote in
any elections 53 28 36 38 36 34
In municipal
elections only 6 21 17 5 16 13
In all elections
after several years
of legal residence 22 38 36 38 37 36
In all elections
unconditionally 9 7 4 7 4 8
Not sure 11 7 6 12 7 8
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 4
BORDER CONTROL

“Do you feel that border controls against illegal immigrants in your country

are … ?”
Base: All EU adults in five countries and US adults

United Great
States France Germany Britain Italy Spain
% % % % % %
Too relaxed 73 56 54 80 78 62
About right 10 21 27 9 12 19
Too tight 6 4 3 2 1 4
Not sure 11 19 16 8 9 15
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

TABLE 5

WHAT TO DO WITH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS “Concerning illegal immigrants, which one of the following actions should your

country take?”
Base: All US adults and EU adults in five countries

United Great
States France Germany Britain Italy Spain
% % % % % %
Expel all illegal
immigrants 46 34 54 59 60 43
Allow illegal
immigrants with
children attending
school to stay, but
expel all others 6 19 14 6 10 8
Grant an amnesty to
all illegal
immigrants and
regularize them 15 13 6 10 8 15
None of the above 3 9 6 6 6 9
Something else 23 19 15 12 11 17
No opinion 7 7 6 7 5 8
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This IHT/Harris Poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 6,520 adults (aged 16 and over) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, United States and adults in Italy (aged 18 and over) between 2nd and 14th May 2007. By country, the totals are: France 1,125; Germany 1,133; Great Britain 1,088; Italy 1,174; Spain 987 and the United States 1,012. Figures for age, sex, education, region and Internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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Q1905, 1925, 1935, 1945, 1950

The Harris Poll(R) #46, May 29, 2007
By Regina Corso, director, The Harris Poll(R), Harris Interactive.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiaries Novatris in France and MediaTransfer AG in Germany, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/.

To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://www.harrispollonline.com/.

Press Contact:
Nancy Wong
Harris Interactive
609-919-2426
[email protected]

Tracey McNerney
Harris Interactive
585-214-7756
[email protected]

Website: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/
Website: http://www.harrispollonline.com/

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