Six in 10 Americans favor providing a way for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country legally, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Overall, 60 percent say they favor finding a way to grant legal status to young people who were brought to this country illegally as children. Twenty-two percent oppose legalizing the status of these people, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” and 16 percent neither favor nor oppose it. Democrats (81 percent) are particularly likely to favor allowing them to stay legally compared to Republicans (42 percent) or independents (44 percent). Last month, President Trump ordered a phasing out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, an Obama-era policy to shield these young immigrants from deportation.
Among those who do not oppose allowing the “Dreamers” to remain in the country legally, two-thirds say President Trump should use his presidential powers to protect them from deportation if Congress does not pass legislation granting them legal status. Democrats (76 percent) are more likely than Republicans (57 percent) or independents (50 percent) to want President Trump to act unilaterally.
For those who do not support granting “Dreamers” legal status, 47 percent say the government should attempt to deport them, while 52 percent say the government should not.
Few Americans support building a wall along the border with Mexico to help stop illegal immigration into the U.S. Thirty-two percent say they favor a border wall and 49 percent oppose, including 41 percent who strongly oppose it.
Last month, the Trump Administration issued a new order that indefinitely restricts travel to the U.S. for citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea, as well as Venezuelan government officials and their family members. The new policy enjoys more support than opposition: 44 percent favor it and 37 percent oppose. Eighteen percent neither favor nor oppose these restrictions.
Overall, 35 percent approve of the way President Trump is handling the issue of immigration and 64 percent disapprove. This marks a decline compared to March of this year when 45 percent said they approved of his performance on the issue.
The nationwide poll was conducted September 28-October 2, 2017 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,150 adults, including an oversample of African Americans. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.