Poll: Most Americans believe there’s an ‘invasion’ happening at the southern border

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

A majority of Americans, including a plurality of Democrats, believe there is an invasion occurring at the southern border, a Thursday poll from Ipsos and NPR found.

Overall, 54% of Americans believed it is true or “somewhat true” that the U.S. is experiencing an invasion at the southern border, while half of Americans believed that migrants carrying fentanyl across the border were responsible for rising drug deaths and 42% believe the U.S. has an open border policy, the poll found, interpreting “true” and “somewhat true” responses to denote agreement with the prompt. It also found a modest shift in attitudes since 2018 toward skepticism of immigration.

Republicans were more likely to agree with all three prompts, with 76% believing there’s an invasion at the southern border, 70% blaming border smuggling of fentanyl for the rise in drug deaths and 63% believing the U.S. has an open border, according to the poll. Pollsters blamed conservative media for these beliefs among Republicans, citing Fox News viewership as an indicator of whether someone ranks these statements as completely true.


Republicans … are more likely than Democrats and independents to incorrectly believe that immigrants commit more crimes and use public assistance compared to the U.S.-born population, and that migrants are illegally smuggling in most of the fentanyl entering the U.S.,” the pollsters wrote.

Among Democrats, 40% believe it was at least somewhat true that the U.S. is being invaded at the southern border, 34% disagreed and 25% didn’t know, the poll found. Another 35% of Democrats blame fentanyl smugglers crossing the border for the rise in drug deaths and only 29% believe we have an open border with Mexico.

The poll also found a slight uptick in support for building a border wall, from 43 to 46% since 2018, and declining support for illegal immigrants who were allowed to stay in the U.S. under the DREAM Act in recent years, with only a bare majority supporting granting legal status to immigrants who arrived as children.

Fewer Americans think immigrants are an important part of American identity compared to recent years; 56% believed this in the NPR/Ipsos poll compared to 75% in 2018.

The poll of 1,116 adults was conducted July 28-29 and, because it was a non-probability online poll, it does not have a margin of error.

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