Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Americans are scared and bellicose, but deeply split on immigration

Every few years the Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducts a comprehensive poll of American views on foreign policy matters. The latest survey, released, today, has some sobering findings. I guess the good news is that Americans still overwhelmingly [2/3] favor an active role in world affairs., and the number has climbed in recent years.

Americans are worried about the Islamic State and terrorist threats, with Republican fears surging to levels like those just after the 9/11 attacks. Republicans are also much more willing than Democrats and Independents to favor military action, including ground combat troops, against such threats.

Most disheartening is the huge partisan split on immigration and climate change. More than three times as many Republicans as Democrats [43% to 12%] oppose major steps on climate change "until we are sure [it's] really a problem," while Democrats overwhelmingly [56% to 12%] say it's a serious problem and we should begin taking action even if there are significant costs.

On immigration, the differences are even sharper. By 48% to 17%, Democrats say illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in their jobs and apply for citizenship. Republicans, by 45% to 14%, say they should be required to leave their jobs and the United States. Not much room for compromise there.

By the way, 2/3 of Americans still favor improved relations with Cuba.

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