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Voters Narrowly Favor Law Allowing Crime Victims to Sue Sanctuary Cities

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Voters still aren’t thrilled with the idea of living in a community that protects illegal immigrants from federal authorities. But they support only narrowly a law that would allow victims of crimes by those illegal immigrants to sue sanctuary communities.

Just 36% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the community they live in declaring itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 49% are opposed to living in a sanctuary community, while 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

These findings have changed very little in surveying over the last three years.

In response to a number of murders and other serious crimes by illegal immigrants freed by sanctuary cities, President Trump announced in last week’s State of the Union address his support for a bill that would allow victims of those crimes to sue the cities. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters favor a law that would allow crime victims to sue sanctuary cities. Forty percent (40%) are opposed. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans favor such a law, compared to 31% of Democrats and 45% of voters not affiliated with either major political party.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted February 6 and 9, 2020 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.

Forty percent (40%) of voters say the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays, while 35% think it’s doing too much, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports weekly Immigration Index. Eighteen percent (18%) rate the level of action as about right.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats favor the community they live in declaring itself a sanctuary community. Just 22% of Republicans and 29% of unaffiliated voters agree.

Women and those under 40 are more enthusiastic about living in a sanctuary community than men and older voters are. Whites (33%) are less supportive of that idea than blacks (46%) and other minority voters (44%).

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters who favor living in a sanctuary community oppose a law that would allow crime victims to sue such communities. Sixty-six percent (66%) of those opposed to their community declaring itself a sanctuary support such a law.

Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing, 74% favor a law that would allow lawsuits against sanctuary cities. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those who Strongly Disapprove of the president’s job performance oppose that kind of law.

Forty-one percent (41%) of all voters believe sanctuary cities are less safe than communities that do not protect illegal immigrants from federal authorities. Only 13% say they are more safe, while 36% think the level of safety is about the same as it is elsewhere.

Voters still favor tough border control and say it’s too easy to get in and stay in the United States illegally. But they also think illegal immigration is getting a little harder these days.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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