Fifty percent of likely U.S. voters favor moving to a merit-based system for legal immigration that favors legal immigrants based on their skills, while 34 percent want to keep it based on family and 16 percent are undecided, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey released on Monday.
The poll's release came after a weekend in which tens of thousands of Americans protested against the separation of undocumented immigrant families at the border due to President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy.
Other results from the poll include:
- Sixty-seven percent of Republicans favor moving to Trump's proposed merit-based system, while only 36 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents agree.
- Fifty-five percent of men favor a merit-based immigration system, while only 45 percent of women agree.
- Those over 65 years of age are the least likely to support a merit-based system, with only 45 percent backing it, while 37 percent want to keep the existing family-based system.
- Eighty-one percent of voters who strongly approve of the job Trump is doing favor his proposed merit-based immigration system, while 58 percent who strongly disapprove of his performance prefer the existing family-based system.
- Only 36 percent think the United States should give preference to potential immigrants with higher levels of education and better economic prospects, while 55 percent say we should treat all potential immigrants equally.
- Forty-four percent say Trump is doing a good or excellent job handling issues related to immigration, while 43 percent think he is doing poorly.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on June 25-26. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points, with a 95-percent level of confidence.
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