Washington, DC – The DHS implementation memos on immigration enforcement are just the latest in a string of reminders that the Trump Administration intends to pander to the small minority of nativists who make up Trump’s base instead of responding to the wishes of the broad majority of the American public. In poll after poll, the majority of Americans reject Trump’s extremism in immigration.
The overwhelming unpopularity of what the Trump Administration is actually proposing explains the administration’s ongoing attempts to deny, confuse, and spin away from the true scope and intentions of their immigration policy radicalism (see Sean Spicer’s press briefing comments and the remarks from an unnamed DHS official yesterday for recent examples). But the transparent P.R. strategy and related Trump Administration denials and false reassurances should not distract from two key facts:
1. President Trump and the Jeff Sessions/Steve Bannon/Stephen Miller contingent are advancing blueprint for mass deportation, with Republican support and complicity; and
2. The American public support legalizing, rather than deporting, undocumented immigrants by overwhelming and durable margins. Even Republicans support legalization rather than deportation.
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 favor deportation. Dr. Jones writes:
“If these findings seem surprising, it is because they are certainly dissonant with the loudest rhetoric around immigration in the country today … While the depictions of immigrants at the two political party conventions this summer could not have been more stark—murderers killing neighbors at the first, and soldiers dying for their country at the second—these surveys are reminders that the differences between everyday Americans on this issue are more of degree than kind. Even conservative Republicans, for example, are twice as likely to support some legal recognition for illegal immigrants than to support deportation.”
A range of other recent polling found the same thing as PRRI: recent 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.
America’s Voice Education Fund – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform
@FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice