Even Trump Supporters Want DREAMers to Stay

Even Trump Supporters Want DREAMers to Stay September 19, 2017

A new poll finds that two-thirds of even Trump supporters want DACA to be made the law of the land and want the children of undocumented immigrants to be allowed to stay in the United States. But it depends on how you ask the question because they think DACA is different from keeping the DREAMers here.


In early September, the Economist/YouGov poll asked a random sample of Americans what they thought about DACA, which the survey researchers characterized as a policy that grants temporary protection to law-abiding children and young adults were brought into the country at an early age by illegal immigrants. 55 percent of the respondents approved of DACA, compared to 27 percent who disapproved. Those who approved included 70 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of Independents, and 43 percent of Republicans, but just 34 percent of those who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. At first glance, these findings suggest that the president and his supporters in the Congress eventually will have to choose between pleasing a majority of the people and satisfying their base. But the underlying reality is more complex. A Politico/Morning Consult survey conducted within days of the Economist/YouGov poll found that 58 percent of Americans want the Dreamers to be allowed to stay in the United States and become citizens if they meet certain requirements. An additional 18 percent think the Dreamers should be allowed to become legal residents but not citizens. Only 15 percent think they should be removed or deported.

The breakdown of the 76 percent who want the Dreamers to remain either as citizens or permanent legal residents is revealing. It includes 84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, 69 percent of Republicans—and two-thirds of self-identified Trump voters. 60 percent of the voters who “strongly approve” of Mr. Trump’s performance as president want the Dreamers to be allowed to stay, compared to 33 percent who want them to be deported.

So while there’s some confusion brought on by different terms being used, when you just ask them straight up if they think children brought here by their parents illegally should be allowed to stay if they meet certain requirements (being in school, serving in the military, etc), a full two-thirds of Trump voters think they should stay and 60% of those who still strongly approve of his job performance.

So much for the bleatings fromo Ann Coulter, Steve King and others that Trump has decimated and betrayed his base. But clearly those people think that Trump’s base is made up overwhelmingly of the racist, anti-immigrant right. And those may well be the loudest voices (or they were). But even those who strongly approve of the job he’s doing (good god, how and why?) reject that xenophobia.

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