A new survey shows that a majority of Americans think illegal immigration is leading to an increase in serious crime in America, echoing Donald Trump's recent comments about Mexicans.
According to one Rasmussen Reports survey
, 53 percent of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigration raises the level of serious crime in the country, with just 5 percent saying it decreases the level.
That breaks down to 76 percent of Republicans who agree with Trump's comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico, who he said are bringing crime across the border. Thirty-three percent of Democrats said the same, while 52 percent of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties said so.
Further, 57 percent of whites surveyed by Rasmussen feel illegal immigration is raising the level of serious crime.
During his campaign announcement speech on June 16, Trump — a real estate mogul running for president as a Republican — said America has an immigration problem.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us," said Trump, who defended his comments
on Monday. "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, some are good people!
"But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America, and it's coming probably from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop and it's got to stop fast."
Trump's comments were met with a mostly negative response, with businesses such as NBC and Macy's severing ties
with him. Other critics denounced the comments
According to other Rasmussen surveys
, 63 percent of Americans want the U.S. to gain control of the border, while just 30 percent want to make undocumented immigrants legal citizens.
As for President Barack Obama's immigration plan that would grant amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., 55 percent of those polled by Rasmussen oppose it.
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According to the Rasmussen numbers, 80 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of immigrants who are living in the U.S. to work hard and achieve the American dream. Trouble is, just 54 percent think that's what immigrants are doing here.
Trump told Newsmax
last week he'd like to see Mexico pay for a wall built at the border.
"They have taken advantage of us for a long time," Trump said. "Between trade and between the border, they will pay for that wall. … Remember what I said: They will pay for that wall."
Trump is one of 14 candidates vying for the Republican nomination next year.
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