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“Spatial Heterogeneity in the Effects of Diversity on Neighborhood Homicide Rates

n 2006, the immigration-reduction advocacy think tank the Center for Immigration Studies released a poll that found that 68% of Americans think U.S. immigration levels are too high, and just 2% said they are too low. They also found that 70% said they are less likely to vote for candidates that favor increasing legal immigration.[297] In 2004, 55% of Americans believed legal immigration should remain at the current level or increased and 41% said it should be decreased.[298] The less contact a native-born American has with immigrants, the more likely one would have a negative view of immigrants.[298]

One of the most important factors regarding public opinion about immigration is the level of unemployment; anti-immigrant sentiment is where unemployment is highest, and vice versa.[299]

Surveys indicate that the U.S. public consistently makes a sharp distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, and generally views those perceived as “playing by the rules” with more sympathy than immigrants that have entered the country illegally.[300]

According to a Gallup poll in July 2015, immigration is the fourth most important problem facing the United States and seven percent of Americans said it was the most important problem facing America today.[301] In March 2015, another Gallup poll provided insight into American public opinion on immigration; the poll revealed that 39% of people worried about immigration “a great deal.”[302] A January poll showed that only 33% of Americans were satisfied with the current state of immigration in America.[303] As an issue that is very important to Americans, polling reveals change in sentiment over time and diverse opinions regarding how to handle immigration.

Before 2012, majority of Americans supported securing United States borders compared to dealing with illegal immigrants in the United States. In 2013, that trend has reversed and 55% of people polled by Gallup revealed that they would choose “developing a plan to deal with immigrants who are currently in the U.S. illegally.” Changes regarding border control are consistent across party lines, with Republicans saying that “securing U.S. borders to halt flow of illegal immigrants” is extremely important decreasing from 68% in 2011 to 56% in 2014. Meanwhile, Democrats who chose extremely important shifted from 42% in 2011 to 31% in 2014.[304] In July 2013, 87% of Americans said they would vote in support of a law that would “allow immigrants already in the country to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements including paying taxes, having a criminal background check and learning English.” However, in the same survey, 83% also said they would support the tightening of U.S. border security.[305]

Donald Trump’s campaign for Presidency focused on a rhetoric of reducing illegal immigration and toughening border security. In July 2015, 48% of Americans thought that Donald Trump would do a poor job of handling immigration problems. In November 2016, 55% of Trump’s voters thought that he would do the right thing in regards to illegal immigration. In general, Trump supporters are not united upon how to handle immigration. In December 2016, Trump voters were polled and 60% said that “undocumented immigrants in the U.S. who meet certain requirements should be allowed to stay legally