Donald Trump will deliver remarks near the border wall in Alamo, Texas, today. Undoubtedly, he is planning to tout his relentless anti-immigrant record and rhetoric. But Trump’s crowning and most lasting achievement on immigration may be driving American public opinion in a pro-immigrant direction. Just two key pieces of evidence:
- Gallup 2020 polling showed support for immigrants and for increasing immigration levels – questions they have been asking since 1965 – is at its highest level ever.
- Pew Research 2020 polling found that 60% believe the growing number of newcomers strengthen American society while 37% say they threaten traditional customs and values – a whopping 14 percentage point shift in the pro-immigrant direction in just the past four years.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“When Trump won in 2016, many declared nativism the big winner. We ourselves worried that four years of demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric from the bully in the bully pulpit would take a tremendous toll on public support.
In fact, just the opposite happened. Trump’s xenophobia never got much traction outside the cul-de-sac of his base, and it backfired badly with the majority of Americans. It seems Trump’s relentless war on immigrants and refugees forced Americans to choose a side. The majority – a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational majority – did just that, coming down on the side of immigrants and refugees and in favor of the idea of America as a welcoming nation.
As a result, the wind is at the back of the pro-immigrant movement, the Democratic coalition, and the incoming Biden-Harris administration. This is why we are optimistic that Democrats will lean in with confidence to 1) undo Trump’s cruel and chaotic policies; 2) build a fair and humane immigration system reflects who we want to be as a nation; and 3) fight for transformative legislation that puts millions on a path to citizenship. We intend to do our part to stress the urgency of moving on all three fronts.”
For Additional Reading and Background
- Check out the America’s Voice PowerPoint deck, with a deep-dive visual exploration of American polling and public opinion on immigration: HERE
- Read a preview statement on today’s Trump visit to the border from Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaign Manager for America’s Voice: HERE
- Read Frank Sharry’s Medium post: “After Four Years of the Anti-Immigrant Trump, America Is More Pro-Immigrant Than Ever.”