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People aren't buying Trump's beliefs about immigrants: Survey

Almost everyone wants Dreamers to stay in the U.S., and large majorities disagree with Trump's oft-repeated views on immigrants.
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Demonstrators hold signs during a protest in front of the White House after the Trump administration scrapped the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, putting more than 800,000 Dreamers at risk of deportation. Photo: Reuters

President Trump's views and proposed policies on immigration are well out of step with American voters, says a new poll, which found that an overwhelming majority of Americans want Dreamers to stay in the U.S., and a solid majority oppose Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico.

The new Quinnipiac survey, released Tuesday night, found that 81 percent of American voters support allowing the children of undocumented immigrants (known as "Dreamers") to stay in the U.S. and eventually apply for citizenship, while 14 percent don't. Support is high among every major demographic: political party, gender, age, race and education level.

Despite Trump's insistence that a border wall with Mexico be built and it's what the American people want, the numbers don't bear that out. Fifty-nine percent of voters oppose the wall, while 37 percent support it. When factoring in the wall's cost — $25 billion — opposition jumps to 65 percent and support shrinks to 33 percent.

On Wednesday, Trump tried to make the drunk-driving death of an NFL player by an undocumented immigrant a political issue by tweeting about it; he has repeatedly argued that undocumented immigrants are criminals. American voters soundly reject that view: 72 percent say undocumented immigrants don't commit more crimes than citizens; only 17 percent said they did.

Other disagreements with Trump's immigration screeds: 63 percent of voters say that undocumented immigrants don't take away jobs from U.S. citizens, while 33 percent say they do; and 54 percent say the levels of legal immigration should be kept the same, while 24 percent believe it should be increased. Only 17 percent say it should be reduced.

Last month, Senate Democrats drew strong criticism from their left for allowing the government to reopen without a promise from Republicans to protect the Dreamers. As of Wednesday afternoon, both parties in the Senate had struck an agreement for a two-year funding bill, which doesn't address Dreamers, potentially averting another shutdown over the issue. That might be a smart political move: 66 percent of voters said the government should not shut down over immigration, while 30 percent said that was worthwhile.

On Wednesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said "a large number" of Democrats opposed the Senate funding bill because it lacked a fix for Dreamers. Its passage in that chamber is uncertain but not impossible.

 
 
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