Amid a controversial approach to immigration from Donald Trump’s administration, a new poll shows that a record-high number of Americans view immigration as a good thing for the United States.
This week, the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents reached peak controversy, with images and video showing detention facilities where young children were being held together in chain-link cages. The furor ultimately led Donald Trump to reverse the policy, just days after claiming that he did not have the power to reverse it. Now, a Gallup poll shows that Americans are widely in support of the concept of immigration.
The poll showed that 75 percent of Americans think immigration as a good thing, up from 71 percent last year. The poll showed that the majority of all political parties were in favor of immigration, though they responded higher when Gallup clarified that the immigrants are coming to the United States through legal channels.
“Given attempts by the Trump administration to cut back on legal immigration, Gallup tested an alternative wording to this question for the first time this year — asking half of the respondents about ‘legal immigration,’ whereas the trend question does not specify a particular type of immigration,” the poll found. “Americans are more likely to support legal immigration, with 84% describing it as a good thing, nine percentage points higher than the reading for ‘immigration.’ “
The poll could spell trouble for Donald Trump’s administration, which has also pushed for greater immigration reform that would decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country. The poll found that a record-low number of Americans (just 29 percent) said they believed immigration to the United States should be decreased.
Despite the push from Donald Trump, Republicans have been reluctant to attempt passing wider immigration reform, and this week delayed a vote on a broader immigration bill, the Washington Post reported. Though they have majorities in both the House and Senate, Republicans have been unable to get beyond infighting among the hard-line factions in support of Donald Trump’s approach to immigration and those seeking a more moderate approach that could include a path to citizenship for those currently in the United States illegally.
Some Democrats have seized on the lack of cohesive message among Republicans and the increasingly high support among Americans for legal immigration, attacking Republicans in attempts to tie them to Donald Trump’s now-scrapped policy to take children from their parents.