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Polling Roundup: Trump’s Immigration and Refugee Policies Are as Unpopular as He Is

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Donald Trump’s radical immigration and refugee executive orders are dangerous, un-American, and — according to three new polls — unpopular. Polling from GallupCNN, and CBS News make clear that President Trump is personally unpopular, as is his immigration-related policy agenda.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “Now we know why President Trump has attacked recent polls as “fake news.” He doesn’t like them because public opinion is turning against him and his policies. Here are the facts: A president elected by a minority of Americans has minority support for his policies that attack minorities.”

Below are key findings from the recent GallupCNN, and CBS News polls, as well as a reminder that Trump’s focus on mass deportation is overwhelmingly unpopular compared to policies that would legalize undocumented immigrants in America.

Gallup polling from last week found broad opposition to Trump’s executive orders and planned border wall and underscored how the new president already is historically unpopular:

55-42% opposition to Muslim ban;
58-36% opposition to indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee program;
60-38% opposition to border wall with Mexico;
Only 43% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president and 52% oppose: As Gallup notes, “No other president going back to Dwight Eisenhower had majority disapproval in his first several months in office.”

CNN polling released last Friday from last week found broad opposition to Trump’s executive orders and captured that Americans think the executive orders go against American values and are likely to make us less safe:

53-47% opposition to the refugee/Muslim ban;
54-45% support for allowing refugees from Syrian to seek asylum in U.S.;
60-38% opposition to Mexican border wall;
55% say “yes, this is a ban on Muslims”;
46% of Americans say the executive orders make us “less safe” from terrorism, while 41% say they make us “more safe”;
49% of Americans say the executive orders harm American values “by preventing those seeking asylum from entering the US,” while 43% say they protect American values “by keeping out people who don’t support them.”

CBS polling released on Friday similarly finds that Trump is historically unpopular and that most Americans oppose the Muslim and refugee bans and believe that executive orders violate America’s founding principles:

51-45% opposition to temporary Muslim travel ban from seven countries;
51-45% opposition to temporary refugee ban;
57% of Americans say the refugee ban goes against “founding principles of the United States” while only 35% think it’s in keeping with our founding principles;

Trump’s approval rating is at just 40% – as CBS notes, “Mr. Trump’s first approval rating is a historic low when compared with other presidents during their first month in office.”

In addition to the refugee and Muslim ban, Trump’s mass deportation vision is wildly unpopular with the American people and diametrically opposed to what the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, want done on immigration. 

In a recent piece in The Atlantic, titled “Not Even the Reddest States Support Deportation,” Dr. Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) highlighted how PRRI’s massive-sample polling research found that Americans support a path to legal status over deportation by 79% – 16% and that only 28% of Republicans favored deportation.

A range of other recent polling found the same thing as PRRI: polls from Quinnipiac, Pew Research, New York Times/CBS,  Washington Post/ABC News, CNN, and Gallup each found that between 72% and 88% of Americans back either citizenship or legalization for undocumented immigrants over deportation. Even an Oct 2016 poll from Fox News found support for legalization over deportation by a 74%-18% margin.