Author :Chris Riotta
A new Gallup survey says the vast majority of Americans support immigration and don’t believe it should be reduced, even as Donald Trump continues enacting hard-line policies along the US-Mexico border.
More Americans than ever before reportedly view immigration as a positive aspect of society, with nearly 75 per cent of respondents saying its “a good thing for this country today”. That figure is up from 71 per cent last year, and the highest its ever been since at least 2001.
The survey also reveals a record-low number of Americans believe immigration levels should be decreased, with 29 per cent of folks saying the amount of immigrants accepted into the country should be reduced. Thirty-nine per cent said they believe levels should remain where they are currently, while 28 per cent said it should be increased.
The data doesn’t appear to back up Mr Trump’s aggressive push to limit immigrants entering the country, both legally and illegally. The president has broadened the scope of priority deportation cases to include anyone who crosses the border without proper documentation, instead of only focusing on criminals and violent offenders — a practice former administrations employed, including Barack Obama’s. Meanwhile, Mr Trump has also threatened to drastically cut legal immigration levels and do away with a number of visas, including the diversity and family-sponsored programmes.
“In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration,” Trump said during his State of the Union address. “In the age of terrorism, these programmes present risks we can no longer afford.”
Gallup surveyed 1,520 Americans for its latest survey on the topic of immigration from June 1 through June 13.
The report arrives a day after the president was forced to backtrack on his own “zero tolerance” policy separating families at the border, signing an executive order allowing children to remain with their parents and legal guardians while being processed for asylum.
Sights and sounds from the border of children being torn apart from their parents spurred national uproar, with backlash coming from both sides of the aisle and every living first lady, including Melania Trump. Ms Trump then visited a children’s immigrant detention centre, offering her help to reunite families “as soon as possible.”