Survey reveals public opinion on immigration

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A public opinion survey conducted by Transatlantic Trends has shown that the public perception of immigration is largely positive - many of the people surveyed being pleased with the benefits immigration can bring.

The United States and five countries from Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) were polled in the fourth-annual Transatlantic Trends survey.

The results showed that 56 percent of U.S. citizens and 52 percent of Europeans are optimistic about the cultural integration of immigrants and support immigration of highly educated immigrants.

Of those surveyed, 63 percent of American and 62 percent of Europeans were in favour of increasing admission rates for highly educated immigrants, as opposed to only 36 percent and 29 percent respectively who were in favour of admitting immigrants with low levels of education.

Any negative sentiments were mainly targeted at the governments, with those surveyed feeling that their country was doing a poor job of implementing or maintaining measures to control illegal immigration.

An interesting section of the survey showed that the general public were overestimating the rate of immigrants in their country, a continuous trend when compared to previous surveys. For example, those polled in Britain believed almost 32 percent of the population were immigrants, however in reality only 11 percent of the population are immigrants.