Amid inflamed passions over President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, a new Harvard-Harris poll finds a majority of Hispanic voters want stricter immigration laws.
The survey, by former Clinton pollster and strategist Mark Penn, found 51 percent of Hispanics want stricter laws, as do 53 percent of blacks.
The June 24-25 poll of 1,448 registered voters began with the question: “Do you think that people who make it across our border illegally should be allowed to stay in the country or sent home?”
Sixty-four percent, overall, said send them home while 36 percent said allow them to stay. The breakdown was 83 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents.
In a report on the survey, the Washington Examiner said that after “an enormously damaging few weeks” of criticism over the policy of temporarily separating children from parents prosecuted for illegal entry, the poll shows the majority of Americans side with Trump.
The poll found that 88 percent opposed separating illegal immigrant families while they are in the U.S., but 55 percent believe illegal immigrant families should be held in custody “until a judge reviews their case,” which essentially is the new Trump policy.
“Mostly they want people who cross the border illegally to be turned around and returned home efficiently,” Penn told the Examiner.
Penn’s polling found 70 percent of registered voters want stricter immigration laws while 30 percent said looser.
Asked whether they would “support or oppose building a combination of physical and electronic barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border,” 60 percent said yes.
Sixty-one percent said current border security is inadequate.
Penn also found overwhelming opposition to sanctuary cities. As many as 84 percent said cities should be required to notify immigration authorities. Just 16 percent said cities should be prohibited from doing so.
Penn also asked the registered voters their view of the “Abolish ICE” campaign to disband U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Just 31 percent said ICE should be abolished while 69 percent were opposed.
The survey found widespread support for the “four pillars” of Trump’s immigration bill, which were recently rejected by the House of Representatives.
The voters were asked: “Would you favor or oppose a congressional deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.-Mexico border?”
Sixty-three percent, including 66 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats said yes.
“Overall, Americans want to show compassion for those that are here, but want much tougher enforcement of immigration laws,” Penn told the Examiner. “They want to solve the problem of illegal immigration, not keep kicking the can down the road.”