The number of Americans who believe that immigration is an important issue facing the United States more than tripled across in just one month from June to July, a recent Gallup poll indicates. The poll, which was conducted between 7th and 11th July, shows that 17% of Americans now think that immigration is the nation’s most pressing problem, which is a dramatic rise from just 5% last month.
The immigration crisis has now moved to the top of the issues list, eclipsing other common worries such as dissatisfaction with the current government (16%), the US economy (15%), and jobs and unemployment (14%). The increasing worry over immigration is almost certainly the result of the amount of media coverage over the influx of immigrants from Central America, many of whom are unaccompanied minors.
Authorities believe that unaccompanied immigrant minors alone are going to account for somewhere between 60,000 and 90,000 of the people who will have entered the United States by the end of 2014. The poll results are also likely to have been influenced by the recent request from President Obama for $3.7bn from Congress to deal with the crisis.
The poll results could also be a good indication of how political candidates from the major parties will try to appeal to voters in the forthcoming election season; for example, national health care reform, which has been at the forefront of voters’ minds in recent polls, now seems to be on the back burner.