This paper introduces a dynamic perspective on how (personal) political ideology shapes reactions to immigration policies at the mass level. Greater ethnic diversity and growing calls for multiculturalism represent a disproportionately greater challenge to rightists because they value conformity, tradition, and stability more than leftists. Consequently, we hypothesize that the impact of political ideology on opposition to immigration has become stronger over time. Analyses show that: (a) leftists were less opposed to immigration than rightists in both 2002 and 2014, and (b) rightists have become more opposed to immigration in the time between 2002 and 2014, whereas leftists’ reactions remained stable across this period. We tested our motivated reasoning hypothesis in a repeated cross-sectional (fixed effects regression) analysis of individual-level data from 18 countries (N = 55,367). The individual-level data on political ideology and immigration policy preferences is from the European Social Survey data sets fielded in 2002 and 2014.