Mar 25, 2024 - News

Survey: Cook County residents' thoughts on migrants

Data: Cook County Community Survey by Loyola University; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Cook County Community Survey by Loyola University; Chart: Axios Visuals

Cook County residents worry the migrant crisis is straining resources, but many also support helping the new arrivals, according to a recent Loyola University survey.

Why it matters: The findings challenge a pervasive narrative about attitudes toward migrants and could influence public officials' thinking.

The big picture: Young people, Democrats, women and Asians expressed the most sympathy for migrants, along with a willingness to help them.

  • Gen X and boomers were almost twice as likely as people ages 18-30 to endorse turning migrants away.

Between the lines: Those who believe migrants live in their neighborhoods are least likely to say they want to help them and most likely to advocate for slowing the flow of arrivals.

  • Those who aren't sure if migrants live nearby are most likely to have positive attitudes toward them.

The intrigue: Despite some high-profile protests against migrant shelters in Asian and Black communities, the survey data challenges perception of anti-migrant sentiment among those groups.

  • People identifying as Asian expressed the most willingness to help migrants.
  • Black respondents' attitudes were more positive than white respondents' and almost identical to those of Latino respondents.

The latest: The number of migrants awaiting housing as of last week was 52, up from zero in mid-February.

The fine print: The data comes from 2,581 residents who were interviewed in January and February.

The bottom line: Despite concerns that migrant aid is making it harder for officials to help longtime residents, a majority of respondents in nearly every category — except Republicans and Independents — support helping migrants who are here.

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