Trust Fox News? You Probably Oppose Immigration Reform

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Is Fox News your most trusted news source? Then you are much more likely to oppose immigration reform than other Americans, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by the left-leaning Brookings Institution and the non-profit Public Religion Research Institute found that being under the age of 30 and Hispanic were the most powerful factors in predicting support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Meanwhile, “trust in Fox News as an accurate news source” offered the strongest indication that a person opposes a path to citizenship.


The differences between Republicans and independents who most trust Fox News compared to those who trust other outlets is stark. Just 42 percent of Republicans who said Fox is their top news source want immigrants to be able to earn citizenship. That number balloons to 60 percent among Republicans who trust other news sources.

Over half (56 percent) of Republicans who trust other networks agreed with the notion that “immigrants strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents.” Only one in three Republicans who most trust Fox News said the same. Among independents, there is a 14 percentage-point gap on that statement between those who trust other TV news channels (70 percent) and those who trust Fox News (56 percent).

Overall, 53 percent of Republicans said that Fox News is their most trusted television news source. That group is “consistently more conservative” than Republicans who trust other outlets, the report says. For example, 35 percent of Fox News viewers affiliate with the Tea Party, while only 15 percent of non-Fox News viewers say the same.


Following the 2012 elections, some prominent figures at Fox News, including host Sean Hannity and News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, voiced support for immigration reform. But since then, the network’s programming and personalities have criticized President Obama for being lax on border enforcement and have spoken against a bipartisan immigration bill passed in the Senate.


Sixty-four percent of Fox News viewers think that the number of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally has increased, the only group of those surveyed where a majority believes that. Just 12 percent think the number of deportations has increased, compared to 25 percent of broadcast news viewers.

Overall, the survey found that 62 percent of Americans support offering a way for undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship, little changed from last year. Just 19 percent said favor identifying and deporting all immigrants living illegally in the U.S. Seventy percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents, and 51 percent of Republicans back a path to citizenship.


You can read the full survey here.

Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.

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