Support among Americans is "declining" for providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants — even among Democrats — according to a new poll.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll, released Wednesday, shows that 43% of voters overall think illegal immigrants now in the United States should be able to become legal citizens, a 14 percentage point decline since January.
With Democrats, support plunged from 72% to 57% during that time period. Meanwhile, only 1 in 4 Republicans backs the idea, a number that dropped by 10 percentage points.
Of those polled, another 19% said illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay and become legal residents, but not citizens, and 27% said they should be removed or deported.
People polled were tied on whether they believed the immigration system was better when former President Donald Trump was in charge or if it's better under President Joe Biden:
- Under Trump: Got worse, 40%; Stayed the same, 12%; Got better, 40%.
- With Biden: Got worse: 40%; Stayed the same, 24%; Got better, 23%.
Most people surveyed also said they think the United States is facing an illegal immigration crisis:
- Crisis: 50%.
- Facing a problem, but not a crisis: 34%.
- Not facing a problem or a crisis: 9%.
Most people, however, said they believe "Dreamers," or young people who were brought to the United States as children, should be able to stay and become citizens:
- Stay and become citizens, under certain requirements: 62%.
- Stay and become legal residents, but not citizens: 16%.
- Be removed or deported from the United States, 14%.
The idea of giving illegal immigrants a way to become citizens has been popular for several years, but the new poll numbers show Democrats could be losing the battle of public opinion in the wake of GOP messaging.
The poll comes as the numbers of immigrants arriving at the nation's border continue to climb, prompting critics of Biden's policies to term the surge as a "crisis," a word the president's administration has refused to use.
On Tuesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and senior U.S. officials met in Mexico City to discuss how to resolve the border situation. Top Latin America officials Roberta Jacobson and Juan Gonzalez made the trip.
Meanwhile, the flood of migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, continues to grow and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling on Biden to take action to avoid an impending humanitarian emergency.
Republicans have also attacked Biden for reversing Trump's immigration policies, and the current administration has attempted to inform migrants that they should not come to the border at this time. "I have an important message for those migrants who wish to enter the United States in an irregular fashion," Jacobson said in a statement posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico Tuesday night. "Do not come to the border. The border is closed."
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