The unemployed and people in low-paying jobs are most resistant to immigrants coming to Ireland as the country’s attitude to immigration becomes divisive, according to a new Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown poll.
More than half (53pc) of Ireland’s unemployed or low-skilled workers are concerned that immigrants are more likely to claim social welfare payments.
The poll shows those from more affluent backgrounds view immigration as a good thing, with 61pc of professional classes believing a mix of races, ethnic groups and nationalities helps make Ireland a better place to live.
Less than half (46pc) of those in unskilled jobs or in receipt of social welfare are as positive about a more cosmopolitan society.
However, there is some concern about the integration of immigrants in Irish communities.
Only 19pc of the public think enough is being done to help Muslims living in Ireland adapt to Irish life.
More than half (53pc) of those polled said Islamic leaders could do more to help with integration.
The poll shows that while 54pc of people would not object to refugee centres being established in their communities, there is widespread concern about people fleeing from troubled parts of the world seeking solace in Ireland.
It comes as the Government has committed to relocating 4,000 refugees to Ireland before the end of this year.
A poll of 960 adults shows people fear increased immigration from the Middle East and Africa may lead to a terror attack in Ireland, similar to those in Nice, Berlin and Paris in recent times.
When asked if they are concerned at the possibility of terrorists exploiting Ireland’s migrant programme, 62pc said yes. One-quarter (26pc) said they were not worried.