June 29 (UPI) -- A Gallup poll found 72 percent of U.S. adults believe immigrants take jobs Americans don't want and 49 percent said immigrants help the economy.
Gallup asked 1,009 Americans from June 7-11 whether they think immigrants mostly help the economy by providing low-cost labor or mostly hurt the economy by driving wages down for many Americans.
In response, 49 percent of Americans said immigrants mostly help the U.S. economy, while 40 percent said they mostly hurt. In 2005, the last time Gallup posed this question, 42 percent said immigrants mostly help, while 49 percent said they mostly hurt. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error.
The first time Gallup asked the question was during Bill Clinton's presidency in 1993, when 28 percent said immigrants mostly help the U.S. economy, while 64 percent said they mostly hurt.
On the question of whether immigrants take jobs American workers want or take low-paying jobs Americans don't want, 72 percent said immigrants take jobs Americans don't want, while 18 percent said they take jobs Americans want. In 2004, 77 percent said immigrants take jobs Americans don't want, while 14 percent said they take jobs Americans want.
"Proponents of immigration often assert that immigrants benefit the U.S. economy due to their willingness to accept lower wages than Americans will work for, keeping the costs of goods and services down," Gallup said in a statement. "By contrast, opponents of illegal immigration say that illegal immigrants drive down wages, lowering the incomes of Americans who are already employed in the lowest-paying jobs."