(Photo : Reuters)
As America's demography continues to become more diverse, studies show that the country on a whole has become more tolerant of immigration and the economic and cultural enrichment that immigrants contribute. However, there's one demographic group in particular that is lagging behind when it comes to the acceptance of immigration: older white Americans.
A new survey conducted by the College Board/National Journal found that whites, particularly those over 50 and blue-collar workers, expressed much more dismay about the cultural impact of immigrants compared to other groups.
According to the poll, which is a component of National Journal's Next America project, 63 percent of the adults agreed that "immigrants coming to this country today ... mostly take jobs Americans don't want." Among those 63 percent are African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic and college-educated Caucasian adults. However, 19 percent thought otherwise and said immigrants "mostly take jobs away from American citizens." That minuscule percentage mostly consists of whites without a college education and whites over 50 years old.
Not surprisingly, the poll found that the fastest-growing immigrant groups overwhelmingly reject the notion that newcomers threaten traditional American values. Asian-Americans disagreed with that statement by 71 percent to 25 percent, while Hispanics dismissed it by 67 percent to 31 percent. African-Americans also rejected the idea by a comparable 65 percent to 33 percent.
Whites, however, remained closely divided on the question, with 47 percent agreeing that newcomers are threatening American customs and 50 percent disagreeing. Likewise, white Americans who favor the Republican Party also expressed much more discomfort about growing diversity in the nation's demographic makeup.
Fifty-three percent of the whites without a college education believe that new arrivals are threatening American values. By contrast, 34 percent of college-educated whites accepted the statement while 64 percent rejected it.
Similarly, 54 percent of whites older than 50 viewed the new arrivals as a threat to American values,but 58 percent of whites younger than 50 did not.
Overall, the acceptance of immigration has increased since the spring of 2009 by 6 percent, notes Policy Mic.