Poll: Most Utahns say legal immigration should be easier

Most Utahns believe legal immigration should be easier, a new UtahPolicy.com poll finds.

Immigration – legal and illegal – is just one of many important issues before voters in this year’s midterm elections.

Historically, partly because of the LDS Church’s missionary programs throughout the world, Utahns have been fairly forward thinking on immigration.

And this poll by Dan Jones & Associates reflects that.

Jones finds:

  • 56 percent of Utahns say it should be easier to legally immigrate into the United States.
  • 12 percent say it should be harder.
  • 28 percent said it should stay the same.
  • And 4 percent don’t know.


For years, immigration advocates have maintained it is too hard to legally come into the U.S., especially to work for short periods of time before returning to your home country.

That is one reason, they claim, the U.S. has such an illegal immigration problem – for there is work here that most Americans don’t want to do, and which illegal immigrants will do.

In any case, Jones finds that across the demographic board, most – or a plurality – of Utahns want to see easier, legal immigration:

  • Young people, ages 18-24, want it – 76 percent for easier immigration.
  • Old folks don’t – only 36 percent for easier immigration, 40 percent want to keep it as is.
  • Republicans want easier immigration, 46 percent.
  • Democrats really want it, 71 percent for easier immigration.
  • Political independents – 65 percent want it easier to come here legally.
  • Those who say they are “very conservative” politically, 40 percent want immigration easier, 34 percent want it the same.
  • The “somewhat conservatives,” 55 percent want it easier
  • The “moderates,” 67 percent favor it.
  • 62 percent of the “somewhat” liberals among us favor easier immigration.
  • 73 percent of the “very” liberals want it.

As noted above, the LDS Church favors legal immigration, for many of its converts – especially in South America – seek to come to the United States for a better life.

Jones finds that 54 percent of “very active” Mormons want easier legal immigration, 29 percent say leave it alone, and 13 actually want legal immigration to become harder.

Finally, in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, GOP Rep. Mia Love – whose parents were legal immigrants to the U.S., seems on the right side of this issue – she wants better immigration laws.

As does her Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

In the 4th District, 62 percent want easier legal immigration, 8 percent want it harder, and 26 percent want it to remain the same.

Jones polled 809 adults statewide Aug. 22-31. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.