Immigration Restriction is Very Popular
Sixty percent of Americans want immigration cut to zero. And social mood hasn’t even bottomed.
Other work suggests norms not only lead people to frown on voting for the far right, but even prompt them to hide their views on immigration. Using a ‘list experiment’ that measures average sentiment but permits individuals to conceal their answers, Alexander Janus discovered that 60% of White Americans supported cutting immigration to zero when their identities were concealed, compared to 39% when their identities were known to the researcher. Self-censorship was especially pronounced among the university-educated.
Similarly, a recent experiment by Leonardo Bursztyn and colleagues found that 54% of Americans were prepared to donate to an anti-immigration organisation associated with maintaining a white majority if their anonymity was assured. This dropped to 34% among those told that researchers might contact them in a follow-up. Soon after Trump’s victory, however, the difference between the two conditions fell away, suggesting Trump’s win had altered social norms, making it more respectable to express ethnonationalist anti-immigration attitudes.