Shock poll: Americans want massive cuts to legal immigration

A government shutdown is in the rearview mirror, but the outlines of a looming immigration deal remain murky with the sides still far apart — though the latest polling suggests President Trump’s bargaining position may be strong.

A Harvard-Harris poll taken in the run-up to the shutdown found Americans strongly support granting citizenship rights to illegal immigrant Dreamers. But they also back Mr. Trump’s three demands for a border wall, limits to the chain of family migration and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Most striking of all is the public’s demand for lower overall legal immigration — a position that has little traction on Capitol Hill but one that is overwhelmingly popular across the country.

The poll found that most Americans want annual legal immigration capped at 500,000 a year or less — far lower than the current annual rate of 1.3 million.

Those findings challenge what many lawmakers say is the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that while illegal immigration is to be discouraged, high levels of legal immigration are necessary for the nation’s image and its economy.