Between 1994 and 2005, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views of immigrants tracked one another closely. Beginning around 2006, however, they began to diverge.
Pew Research analyst Bradley Jones notes that underlying the sharp differences is a substantial–and growing–partisan divide over whether immigrants generally are a strength or burden on the country. Jones writes of the intensification trend here:
In our latest national political survey, released in March, 59% of the public say immigrants strengthen the country, while 33% describe them as a burden. In 1994, opinions were nearly the reverse: 63% said immigrants were a burden and 31% said they strengthened the country.