With Trump determined to make racism and xenophobia the animating force of his effort to hold onto political power, two new polls show he is swimming upstream against public opinion.
The Pew poll’s highlights show broad support for pragmatic policies: treat Central Americans with dignity; give them the chance to make their case before a judge; make it easier for Central Americans to win legal status.
The Gallup poll shows that Americans are slightly more likely now (57%) than in December of last year (51%) to support allowing refugees from Central America into the U.S; and support for allowing Central American refugees entry is now higher than Gallup has found for most refugee cases it has polled on historically.
Pew Research poll:
- 65% say the federal government is doing a bad job dealing with the increased number of people seeking asylum.
- 86% say it’s important to increase the number of judges handling asylum cases.
- 82% say it is important to provide safe and sanitary conditions for asylum seekers once they arrive in the United States.
- 69% say it is important to provide more assistance to countries in places like Central America.
- 74% say it is important to reduce the number of people coming to the U.S. to seek asylum.
- 60% say it is important to make it easier for asylum seekers to be granted legal status in the U.S (53% say it is important to make it harder).
- 72% are in in favor a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.
- 77% reject the idea that undocumented immigrants are taking Americans’ jobs.
- 73% say undocumented immigrants are as honest and hardworking as American citizens.
- 69% say immigrants are no more likely than citizens to commit serious crimes.
- “Americans are slightly more likely now (57%) than in December of last year (51%) to support allowing refugees from Central America into the U.S.
- “Support for allowing Central American refugees entry is now higher than Gallup has found for most refugee cases it has polled on historically, including Syrian refugees in 2015 as well as stretching back to refugees from the German Holocaust in the 1930s and 40s.”
- “Among the three main U.S. partisan groups:
- Democrats remain most supportive of allowing the refugees entry, with the current 85% approving similar to the 82% recorded in December.
- The largest increase in support has been among Republicans, from 14% in December to 24% now.
- Approval among independents increased slightly from 52% in December to 58% today.”