Voters overwhelmingly support allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, placing President Donald Trump’s decision to wind down the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at odds with public opinion.
A majority of voters, 58 percent, think these undocumented immigrants, also known as Dreamers, should be allowed to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements — a sentiment that goes well beyond the existing DACA program. Another 18 percent think they should be allowed to stay and become legal residents, but not citizens. Only 15 percent think they should be removed or deported from the country.
Support for allowing these immigrants to remain in the U.S. spans across party lines: 84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans think they should stay.
“Given the deeply polarizing nature of immigration issues, the broad support for allowing Dreamers to stay in the United States is notable,” said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “Just 24 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats say that Dreamers should be deported.”
The same holds true for Trump’s electoral base. Two-thirds of self-identified Trump voters think the Dreamers should stay; only 26 percent think they should be deported.
Among voters who say they strongly approve of Trump’s job performance as president, 60 percent think these immigrants should be allowed to stay, compared with only 33 percent who think they should be deported.
The poll was conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and surveyed 1,993 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the administration would terminate the DACA program in six months if Congress fails to pass legislation to codify protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who have applied to stay in the country.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll also shows that more than two-thirds of voters, 68 percent, think Dreamers should be given permits to work in the United States. That includes majorities of Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (57 percent) and independents (69 percent).
More broadly, the poll shows voters are supportive of allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. if they meet certain obligations. Asked the best way to handle immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, nearly half, 49 percent, think they should be allowed to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements. Another 21 percent think they should be allowed to stay and become legal residents, but not citizens. Just 22 percent think they should be deported.
Even among Trump’s base, fewer than half of Republicans (37 percent), Trump voters (39 percent) and those who strongly approve of his job performance (45 percent) think undocumented immigrants should be deported or removed.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.
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