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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What America Thinks: States vs. Feds

A tied U.S. Supreme Court last week kept in place a lower court ruling stopping President Obama’s executive order exempting up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation. Twenty-six states had challenged the president’s order. So what does America think of this and other cases like it pitting states against the Obama administration?

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters oppose Obama’s amnesty plan, while just 33% favor it. Most voters have opposed the plan since the president first announced it in November 2014. Most also continue to believe the policies and practices of the federal government encourage rather that discourage people from entering the country illegally. That helps explain why support for state rather than federal enforcement of immigration laws is now at its highest level in several years. Forty-six percent (46%) still favor relying on the federal government to enforce immigration laws, but just as many (45%) now think it’s better to allow individual states to act on their own to enforce those laws.

States are also joining TransCanada’s lawsuit against the president’s veto of a bipartisan bill giving the go-ahead to the Keystone oil pipeline. 58% of voters support building the pipeline and have for the past five years.

Eleven states are now suing the federal government over the administration’s directive requiring schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they prefer. Among Americans with elementary and secondary school age children, 55% oppose this directive. Thirty-two percent (32%) favor it, while 13% are undecided. Just 24% say the federal government should be responsible for setting bathroom policies in elementary and secondary schools.

Numerous states also continue to challenge key portions of the president’s national health care law. Most voters continue to have an unfavorable opinion of Obamacare and think it will make health care worse, as they have in surveys since its passage by Congress in March 2010.

When it comes to federal-state relations in general, 54% of voters think states have the right to opt out of federal government programs they don’t agree with. 61% think states should have the right to opt out of federally mandated programs if the feds don’t help pay for them.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.