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Trump’s Immigration Stance: Consistent, Radical – and Unpopular

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While the Trump campaign’s continued word blizzard around immigration is designed to sow confusion, the policy thrust remains consistent and disturbing. America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry called Trump’s approach “the most radical immigration policy of any nominee in modern American politics. The intended outcome of Trump’s policy is to drive all but a handful of undocumented immigrants out of the country. That’s 11 million people who live and work and are settled throughout America. If implemented, it would be one of the most shameful chapters in American history.”

The American public sees through the attempts to “soften” Trump’s evident nativism. New public opinion research from ABC News/SSRS research gauged the public’s reaction to Trump’s speech and found that 67% had a negative reaction, versus only 27% who reacted positively to the Phoenix immigration speech. An accompanying “word cloud” gauging specific reactions shows that dominant reactions to Trump’s speech were such words as “disgust,” “ignorant,” “racist,” “ridiculous,” and “disturbing.” Meanwhile, by a 78%-13% margin, respondents do not believe Trump would succeed on his boast to get Mexico to pay for a border wall.

These findings underscore other recent polling that finds that the vast majority of Americans – including a majority of Republicans – oppose Trump’s mass deportation stance. For example, Gallup polling released in July 2016 found that a whopping 84% of Americans (91% of Democrats, 85% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans) support “allowing immigrants living in the U.S. illegally the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time.” When Gallup asked about deporting all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S, two-thirds opposed the idea.

Of course, the opposition to Trump’s immigration vision is most pronounced among segments of the electorate most personally affected by the immigration debate and most under attack by Trump’s demagoguery. Last Friday, new nationwide polling of Latino voters, conducted by Latino Decisions and commissioned by America’s Voice found that Trump is on track for an historically low performance among Latino voters and is damaging the Republican brand among Latinos in the process.

Among the key findings in the new poll, Hillary Clinton leads Trump by a 70%-19% margin among Latinos nationwide and 76% of Latino voters say it is more important to vote in 2016 than it was in 2012 — with 51% of those respondents saying that stopping Trump is the top reason why. Overall, 68% of respondents said Trump’s views on immigration and immigrants made them less likely to vote for Republican candidates this year. (Access poll toplines and poll crosstabs on the Latino Decisions website).

This week: Following last week’s nationwide Latino polling, America’s Voice and Latino Decisions will release new state-specific Latino voter polls for Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia later this week – stay tuned for more details.