Campus News Georgia Impact

Peach State Poll respondents: Immigration is good for country

Fifty-three percent of the state’s adult population believes that immigration is generally a good thing for the country today; 70 percent says that immigration has been a good thing for the U.S. in the past, according to the most recent Peach State Poll, a quarterly survey of public opinion conducted by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

In regards to the level of immigration, 11 percent of the Georgia public believes that it should be increased, 32 percent believes it should be held at its present level and 48 percent believes that it should be decreased.

On a series of questions about the economic and cultural impact of immigration, Georgians’ attitudes in the summer of 2006 are very similar to those found in December 2001. The one notable difference is that the public’s perception that most new immigrants are here illegally has increased to 64 percent from 51 percent in December 2001.

Other Peach State Poll ­results:

  • Americans, in general, are more likely than Georgians to see immigration today as a good thing and less likely to prefer that the level of immigration be decreased.
  • While only 28 percent of Georgians say that they are irritated by people speaking Spanish in public places such as stores or parks, 41 percent are bothered by signs and advertisements in Spanish.
  • More than half of those surveyed (51 percent) disagree with the argument that the roads would be safer if illegal immigrants could get driver’s licenses.
  • A majority of Georgians (52 percent) believe that ­immigrants settling in the state are taking jobs that no one else wants; only 29 percent believe that immigrants are taking jobs from Georgians. The views of the majority more closely align with a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center that found that immigrants have not injured employment opportunities for native Georgians.