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More Americans Than Ever Say Immigration Is The Top Problem In The US

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More Americans Than Ever Say Immigration Is The Top Problem In The US
Yet, the number of migrants picked up at the border is the lowest it's been in 17 years. Is the border crisis hyped?
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

The migrant family crisis at the U.S. southern border has been all over the news this past month — and it's deeply affecting the way Americans perceive the issue. 

Since 2001, Gallup has been asking Americans every month to choose, from a list, the top problem facing the nation. In July, 22 percent of respondents chose "immigration" — the highest percentage in the survey's history and the second time the issue topped the list.

But here's what's ironic about this: While more and more Americans see immigration as the nation's ultimate problem, fewer and fewer migrants are being apprehended at the southwest border. 

In 2017, border officers picked up 304,000 migrants. Now, that may seem like a lot, but it's actually the lowest it's been in 17 years. In fact, it's five times lower than the the number of migrants who were apprehended along the border in 2000. 

Small increases between 2017 and 2018 have obscured the fact that the border apprehension trend is very much going downward.   

So, why are Americans so concerned about immigration? Critics of President Donald Trump argue that he constantly exaggerates — if not creates — problems to rile up his base. 

That being said, the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has increased threefold since 1990. And Gallup notes that while Republicans are likely blaming illegal immigration for its perceived impact on crime and jobs, Democrats seem more concerned about the welfare of immigrants.

Hyped or not, the nonstop immigration news cycle is certainly not going away. With the midterm elections approaching, prepare to hear even more about immigration on the campaign trail.