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Major polls find Britons at odds on immigration

The fourth annual Transatlantic Trends: Immigration survey, out last week, showed that global economic turmoil and migration following the “Arab Spring,” had little impact on attitudes to immigration in the US and five European countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

New global poll identifies British attitudes towards immigration:
· Coalition Government’s handling of immigration considered poor
· Only a minority concerned about legal migration
· UK immigrant population overestimated
· Migrants fleeing armed conflict, natural disasters, persecution should be admitted
· Immigrants are entrepreneurial and plug labour market gaps
· Children of immigrants are well integrated

According to the survey, British people continue to view immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity (68%), with 57% of respondents stating that they think there are currently too many immigrants in the country.

This figure has, however, remained stable since 2008 in the UK as well as elsewhere in Europe.

Most also maintain a negative view of government management of immigration, with 68% of Europeans and 73% Americans believing that their government is doing a poor or very poor job.

Most American (56%) and Europeans (52%) remain optimistic about immigrant integration, and 66% of British people are positive about how well the children of immigrants are integrating.

Majorities in the UK, Europe and the U.S. are interested in letting in more highly educated immigrants. Amongst European respondents, the British are most likely to agree that immigrants help create jobs and set up new businesses (54%).

Despite 58% believing that immigrants take jobs from native workers, a large majority (69%) think immigrants help fill jobs when there are shortages. A majority (56%) supported highly educated migrants being allowed to come to the UK.

Following the Arab Spring, 40% of Britons surveyed support opening the British labour market to residents of newly democratic states in North Africa and the Middle East.

Strong support was also found amongst Britons polled for admitting migrants fleeing armed conflict (73%), natural disasters (70%) and persecution (65%). Surprisingly, half of British people would accept migrants fleeing poverty.

The survey is a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy), and the Barrow Cadbury Trust (U.K.), with additional support from the Fundación BBVA (Spain).


Originally published by Liberal Conspiracy, sourced from Newswire

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