A new poll just released by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research gives interesting insight into Americans’ thoughts on current immigration issues. The poll was performed between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2 on a pool of participants designed to be statistically reflective of U.S. adults.
One of the topics covered by the poll was the status of “Dreamers” — people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. As you may know, the Obama administration put a program in place called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That program protected qualifying Dreamers without criminal records protection from deportation, along with permission to work or go to school. About 800,000 Dreamers have permits under DACA.
Last month, President Trump announced that the DACA program will be phased out unless Congress takes steps to save it. What do Americans think about continuing to protect the Dreamers?
Less than 1 in 5 Americans wants to see the Dreamers deported. A majority — 60 percent — of the American public supports giving Dreamers some sort of legal status in the U.S. Fully 68 percent of Hispanics, 61 percent of African-Americans and 57 percent of whites support giving them legal status.
This is crucial because many Dreamers have little or no connection to their countries of origin. Many have lived in the U.S. as long as they can remember, so being deported would not feel like being sent “back” but being banished to a foreign country.
“For the ones who are already here, there should be a way for them to stay because it wasn’t their fault,” said one man. “But you have to give them a path to citizenship.”
That point of view is widely held, according to the president of FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group that was founded by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “What you see is growing support within the voters overall in giving Dreamers a path to citizenship,” he said. “Giving Dreamers the ability to earn citizenship is the most popular bipartisan, not just immigration, issue, the single most united issue in the country.”
Other topics in the poll included whether to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and whether the survey participants approve of President Trump’s stance on immigration. Here are the results:
- Border wall: 32 percent approve, 49 percent oppose
- Trump’s latest travel ban: 44 percent in favor, 37 percent against
- Trump’s immigration policy: 64 percent disapprove