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If Democrats Want Americans to Like Immigrants, They Should Close the Border, Study Shows

A new study found that allocating government resources to securing the border “increases desired levels of immigration.”

SO WHAT

It’s a stiff rebuke to the mentality of “open borders” Democrats (cough, cough, AOC).

THE STUDY

Social scientists Ryan Briggs and Omer Solodoch conducted three survey experiments to measure the effect of border security measures on attitudes toward immigrants.

Here’s what they found:

  • When perceived spending on border security increased, respondents said they wanted higher levels of immigration to the U.S. When spending on border security decreased, they said the opposite.
  • Solodoch and Briggs’ survey found that people were more willing to back policies that increase immigration, if they were paired with increases to border security spending.
  • The researchers also learned that, when compared to no border controls, tight border controls increased “positive evaluations of immigration.”

Interestingly, Briggs and Solodoch determined that costly border barriers, such as former President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall, are unnecessary when it comes to the public’s sense of control over immigration: “Instead, border patrol agents and officers, surveillance devices and other controls appear as similarly if not more effective.”

SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT

The study squares with the political wisdom of many immigration restrictionists on the right.

  • Brexit advocate Dominic Cummings said in a podcast interview with Andrew Sullivan last month that immigration has virtually become a non-issue in the U.K. post-Brexit.
  • “My experience as almost 12 years as prime minister was that whenever the Australian population thought that immigration was being controlled and properly monitored they supported high immigration [numbers],” former Australian Prime Minister John Howard told BBC 4 in 2019, in reference to his belief that Britons would welcome higher immigration levels if the government secures the border.
  • Meanwhile, public support for immigration surged under Trump, a hardline immigration restrictionist who made securing the border the main plank of his platform.

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