FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are not as open to immigration as they have been in recent years. A new Gallup poll shows half of those surveyed say immigration should be decreased - that's up from 39-percent who felt that way last year.
32-percent say levels should be kept the same, down from 39-percent; while 14-percent say immigration should be increase - down from 18-percent a year ago.
Today's attitudes are similar to how the public felt in the first few years after the 9/11 attacks - beliefs that had softened since 2006. This poll also shows 58-percent of Americans say immigration is a good thing for the country; that's the lowest percentage who feel that way since 2003.
When it comes to party differences - it's no surprise that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to want immigration decreased; but nearly half of Democrats and Independents feel the same way. Americans in the South are more anti-immigration than other regions, although all parts of the country are moving in this direction.
Meanwhile a group of Illinois congressmen recently wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to work on immigration reform this year. They want a law to help keep immigrant families together, protect workers and provide safe migration opportunities.
Considering the mood of the country right now - and the fact that millions of Americans are out of work - it might be a tall order to gin up a lot of sympathy for the millions of illegal aliens in this country.
Here’s my question to you: Why are Americans tougher on immigration now than they were a year ago?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Richard from Kansas writes:
We are having trouble enough taking care of our own citizens. We can no longer afford to take care of the world’s huddled masses. Illegal immigrants are the main problem. They came here as cheap labor and now that many of those jobs are gone, they have become a burden. Round them up and ship them home.
Bill from Michigan writes:
It's pretty simple from a historical perspective: Whenever times get tough and jobs get tight, shut the door behind you and blame the newest guy trying to get in. It's best to generate fear as a "nativist" and forget the fact he is self motivated, pays taxes, and creates demand in a consumer-driven economy. We don't want to admit any of that. Also, mum’s the word about grandpa sneaking in from Ireland. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be here in the first place with our own sense of entitlement. What a country!
Maria from California writes:
Americans are sick of paying out billions of dollars for services and benefits to people who are not supposed to be here. When I needed services, I was actually told that I would qualify for more if I were here illegally and had kids. In California especially, everything is being cut due to the budget. But illegal alien services (including health care, housing, food stamps, education etc.) are sacrosanct!
Jack, I am a bit confused! Why are we referring to immigration reform as though it were not a violation of our federal laws? These are illegal aliens who come into the U.S. illegally. Immigration reform should only apply to the system that affects those who come legally. Perhaps we should ignore some other federal laws like paying taxes.
Michael from St. Petersburg, Florida writes:
Try unemployment. My son got laid off twice in the last year and we see illegal immigrants taking jobs from people like him. I believe in the American dream, but it has to be done correctly.