Transatlantic Trends: Immigration 2010
Transatlantic Trends: Immigration 2010 is a public opinion survey of eight countries in North America and Europe that addresses multiple aspects of the immigration and integration debate, including the effect of the economic crisis on attitudes toward immigration, immigrants’ labor market impacts and effects on wages, and how governments are managing immigration, among others. This third annual survey shows that as North American and European countries continue to recover from the global economic crisis, there is a nearly consensus view that governments are managing immigration poorly. For the first time, there is also evidence that respondents whose personal economic situation got worse in 2010 were more likely to fear immigrant competition in the labor market.
Majorities in the United States (73%), the U.K. (70%), Spain (61%), France (58%), and the Netherlands (54%) believed that their government was doing a poor job in managing immigration. Only Canadians were split, with 48% feeling positive and 43% responding negatively about their government’s handling of immigration. In the United States (67%) and U.K. (63%), respondents also said immigration policy would affect their vote.
For the first time, the survey also showed evidence that personal economic hardship is correlated with more fears of labor-market competition. Those whose household economic situation got worse in 2010 were more likely to say that immigrants take jobs away from native-born workers. In the United States, for instance, 63% of those whose economic situation “got worse” in 2010 made this claim versus only 49% of those whose situation either “got better” or “stayed the same.” Europeans who self-identified as unemployed were also more likely to say that immigrants take jobs (43% versus the European average of 35%).