“What we learn from the data is that the US has a very legalistic vision of what it is to be an American,” said Nicolas Boyon, the senior vice-president of Ipsos, who led the study. Of the countries surveyed, America had the most inclusive attitudes about immigrants who have gained citizenship. That remained true even if that citizen does not speak “our language” or have a job.
The US also ranks in the top three most accepting nations when considering whether people who are convicted felons or have extreme political views are “real” nationals.
“It shows how much this piece of paper and having pledged allegiance to the flag means. Once you’ve become a citizen you can have political extreme views, but you have to have gone through the process,” said Boyon.