Public Religion Research Institute
March 29, 2016
Americans overall are more likely to say that newcomers from other countries strengthen American society (50%) than they are to believe that they represent a threat to American customs and values (34%). Sixteen percent affirm or reject both statements, or offer no opinion. While there was some fluctuation in attitudes about immigrants over the past year, no weekly survey conducted between May and December 2015 registered more than four in ten Americans agreeing that immigrants represent a threat to American culture.
There are striking generational differences in attitudes about immigrants. More than two-thirds (68%) of young adults (age 18 to 29) say that immigrants coming to the U.S. strengthen the country, while fewer than one in five (19%) say that immigrants threaten traditional American customs and values. In contrast, only 36% of seniors (age 65 and older) believe that newcomers strengthen American society, while close to half (44%) of seniors believe that immigrants coming to the U.S. are a threat. Notably, 12% of seniors offer no opinion on this issue.[...]
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