Dramatic increase in concern over immigration

The amount of Americans who cite immigration as the most important issue currently facing our nation more than tripled from June to July, according to a recent Gallup poll. The poll, conducted between July 7 and July 10, indicated that 17 percent of Americans currently find immigration to be the most pressing issue in the U.S., a number that has risen dramatically from 5 percent in June of this year.

Moving to the top of the list of issues facing the country, the immigration crisis has now eclipsed several frequently listed issues. Immigration is followed on the list of American concerns by dissatisfaction with the government (16 percent), the economy (15 percent), and unemployment and jobs (14 percent).

The rising concern over immigration is undoubtedly fueled by the increase in media coverage of the surge of Central American immigrants, many of them children, crossing into the United States in the Southwest. Authorities estimate that unaccompanied children alone will account for between 60,000 and 80,000 individuals entering America by the end of the calendar year. The result of the poll is also certainly influenced by President Barack Obama’s recent request of $3.7 billion from Congress to be used to stem the tide of immigration.

The results of this poll could be a strong indication of how candidates from both sides of the aisle will attempt to appeal to voters in the upcoming election season. For example, where national health​ care reform has typically been an immensely controversial issue for voters, Gallup’s poll shows that it seems to be leaving the front of most Americans’ minds. Health care was cited by 16 percent of Americans as the most important national issue in January. It then fell to 15 percent in April, 11 percent in May, 10 percent in June and 8 percent this month.

The Gallup poll only listed issues cited as the most important by at least 2 percent of the Americans surveyed.