Americans by nearly 2 to 1 oppose Donald Trump’s attempts to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and just three in 10 in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll support making it harder for undocumented immigrants to request asylum protection in the United States.
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Sixty-four percent oppose Trump declaring a national emergency in order to build a wall without congressional approval, while 34% back him. That includes 55% who “strongly” disapprove, vs. 28% who strongly support.
Just 30%, moreover, favor making it harder for undocumented immigrants to seek asylum, as Trump has proposed. Essentially as many, 27%, would make it easier, while 34% favor leaving the law as it is now.
Majority opposition to Trump’s policies stands even as a sense of the seriousness of the situation has risen. Thirty-five percent now see a crisis, up from 24% in January. That said, 64% still don’t ascribe to the president’s claim of a border crisis.
Overall, 57% in the poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, disapprove of how Trump is handling immigration, with 39% approving. (This matches Trump’s overall job approval rating.) Disapproval has eased a bit, from 62 percent when last tested in September 2017.
In a comparatively better result for Trump, the public divides about evenly on who’s mainly to blame for the border situation. Thirty-five percent chiefly blame the Democrats in Congress and 32% chiefly blame Trump, with an additional 27% blaming neither or both.
Views of the border situation as a crisis have risen across groups, but most steeply among Democrats, up 17 percentage points from 7% in January to 24% now. It’s up similarly, by 16 points, among Hispanics, from 20% in January to 36% now.
Seeing a crisis peaks among very conservative Americans, 62%; Republicans, 56%; rural residents, 54%; and evangelical white Protestants, 52%.
Other opinions likewise are sharply partisan. But even among Republicans, just fewer than half, 46%, favor making it harder for undocumented immigrants to request asylum. Support for the idea is highest, 54%, among strong conservatives. That falls to a third of independents, a quarter of moderates and about one in seven Democrats and liberals alike.
Assignment of blame, for its part, may be a concern for Trump and his party looking ahead to the 2020 election. Whites blame the Democrats in Congress over the president for the immigration situation by a broad 43-23%. But nonwhites, a growing share of the population, see it quite differently. Blacks blame Trump over the congressional Democrats by 57-14%; Hispanics do so by 50-19%.
Further, whites only divide on Trump’s handling of immigration overall, 49-47%, approve-disapprove. Seventy-four percent of Hispanics, as well as 87% of blacks, disapprove.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone April 22-25, 2019, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 29-26-36%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling and data collection by Abt Associates of Rockville, Md. See details on the survey’s methodology here.
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