Wednesday, August 19, 2015
As far as voters are concerned – and not just Republicans - Donald Trump has a winning formula for fighting illegal immigration.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of Likely Republican Voters agree with the GOP presidential hopeful that the United States should build a wall along the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration. Seventeen percent (17%) of GOP voters disagree, while 13% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Ninety-two percent (92%) of Republicans agree that the United States should deport all illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a felony in this country. Only four percent (4%) disagree.
Among all likely voters, 51% favor building a wall on the border; 37% disagree, and 12% are not sure. Eighty percent (80%) support the deportation of all illegal immigrants convicted of a felony; only 11% are opposed.
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Trump made both proposals in a policy paper he released this past weekend that calls for getting tough on illegal immigration. He cites a Rasmussen Reports survey to back up his proposal to end automatic citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants in this country. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters disagree with the current federal policy that says a child born to an illegal immigrant here is automatically a U.S. citizen.
Just 34% favor President Obama’s plan to protect up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation. Most voters continue to think instead that the United States is not aggressive enough in deporting those who are here illegally.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 17-18, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Gallup released a new survey last week with the headline, “In U.S., 65% Favor Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants.” But the actual question shows that 65% of Americans favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants “if they meet certain requirements over time.” Unspecified in the question is what those requirements are and the length of time in question.
Rasmussen Reports has found consistently for years that most voters want the border with Mexico secured to prevent further illegal immigration before there is any talk of amnesty. In May, 63% said gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States, the highest level of support for border control since December 2011.
Men and those 40 and over are stronger supporters of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border than women and younger voters are. But the groups are much closer to agreement when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants convicted of felonies in this country.
Sizable majorities in nearly all demographic categories favor deporting illegal immigrants convicted here of felony crimes.
But Democrats are less enthusiastic about such a policy than Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are. Only 30% of Democrats favor building a wall, compared to 57% of unaffiliated voters.
Whites voters are much stronger supporters of a wall on the southern U.S. border than black and other minority voters are.
Ninety-four percent (94%) of all voters who favor building a wall also support deportation of illegal immigrants convicted of a felony in this country. But even 65% of those who oppose a wall agree with such a policy.
Trump took a lot of criticism last month from Democrats and other Republican presidential hopefuls over his candid remarks about the criminality of many illegal immigrants, but most voters agree with Trump that illegal immigration increases serious crime in this country.
The reaction to his comments also increased media coverage of the murder of a young woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant from Mexico who said he came to that city because it does not enforce immigration laws. Most voters now want to get tough on so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to enforce these laws.
We noted in a commentary last month how the media spins the illegal immigration issue, comparing its coverage of Trump’s positions with those taken by leading Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.
Trump continues to lead the pack of Republican presidential candidates, but his support fell following the first GOP debate. It will be interesting to see if his aggressive proposals for dealing with illegal immigration help or hurt him in the overall Republican race.
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