Californians See Problems at the Border but Sympathize with Migrants

Immigration—already a politically divisive issue—is becoming increasingly contentious. Even as asylum seekers continue to arrive at the southern border, President Biden announced plans to build new barriers along the US-Mexico border as well as resume deportation flights to Venezuela . About one-in-four Californians is an immigrant— a higher share than any other state —and most Californians (69%) generally think that immigration is a good thing for the country. So, how do they feel about the situation at the border and the migrants who arrive there?

Is the situation at the border a crisis?

Twenty-seven percent of Californians consider the situation at the US border a crisis while 37% say it is a major problem, according to our September PPIC Statewide Survey . Fewer call it a minor problem (27%) or not a problem (8%). In a similar question asked in January 2019 , Californians held similar views regarding the border.

Today, partisans are deeply divided: a majority of Democrats and independents see at least a major problem with the border situation—six in ten Republicans call it a crisis. Across racial/ethnic groups, white residents are most likely to see a crisis, followed by African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Californians age […]

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Michelle Rojas-Soto is Social Justice Director at the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and Managing Director at Encompass, a racial equity nonprofit. Her children attend LAUSD and Glendale USD schools.

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