sanctuary cities

Most U.S. Citizens Oppose Sanctuary Cities, Poll Reveals

President Trump’s approval ratings might be at an all-time low. However, if we are to believe the results of a new poll, the incumbent president enjoys widespread public support in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities. The poll was conducted by Harvard-Harris and was first published in The Hill. The online survey was conducted between February 11 and 13 and involved 2,148 individuals — 39 percent of whom identified themselves as Democrats, 30 percent Republican, 27 percent independent, and 5 percent other.

According to the poll results, most of the respondents — over 80 percent of them — believed that authorities from sanctuary cities should comply with federal laws and report any illegal immigrants they come in contact with. As of now, hundreds of sanctuary cities across the U.S. refuse to do so. In retaliation, President Trump passed an executive order asking Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to crack down on such cities.

One of the ways Trump figured out was to starve these sanctuary cities of federal funding. Apart from this, Kelly is also likely to hire several new immigration enforcement agents with authority to detain and deport anyone who is found to have arrived or is staying illegally in the U.S. This move, according to experts, is set to end up in a showdown between the federal government and sanctuary cities. Currently, the top 10 sanctuary cities in the U.S. receive more than $2.27 billion in federal funding for several programs. More than 77 percent of the poll respondents said that they support comprehensive immigration reform. Only 23 percent opposed President Trump’s move.

Commenting on the poll results, Harvard–Harris co-director Mark Penn said,

“While there is broad support for comprehensive immigration reform, there is overwhelming opposition to sanctuary cities. The public wants honest immigrants treated fairly and those who commit crimes deported and that’s very clear from the data.”

The poll had several other questions too, including one that asked people about the construction of the border wall. More than 52 percent of the respondents said they support Trump’s decision to build the wall and increase the number of immigration officers by 10,000. Another Trump decision that seemed popular among the respondents was his decision to increase the border patrol. More than 75 percent of the poll respondents said they were with the president on this.

Respondents were, however, divided over President Trump’s most controversial decision as yet — the travel ban that he imposed on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. While a larger percentage (53 percent) supported this decision, which was shot down by a court order, most others were not in support of this much talked about “Muslim ban.” In fact, 38 percent of the respondents believed that the court’s’ decision to quash the executive order could put the nation at risk. The Trump administration is expected to come with a revised version of this order later this week. This was confirmed by Kelly as well who said the administration would roll out a “tighter, more streamlined version” of the executive order soon. In this order, people from these countries who have already been granted a visa would be allowed in. Green card holders and people with dual citizenships would also be allowed in.

The respondents were also deeply divided over the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East. More than 47 percent of the respondents still believe that allowing refugees into the U.S. isn’t a great idea and that their entry would only have a negative impact. Only 33 percent believe that the refugees should be allowed in.

“Americans support both comprehensive immigration reform and stronger vetting and reduced refugees — they want a mix of compassion, strong borders. They see ISIS as the greatest threat to the country and that is spurring concerns about refugee migration,” Penn said.

What do you think about these poll results, especially the bit that deals with sanctuary cities?

[Featured Image by Gregory Bull/AP Images]

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