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75% of Americans Say Immigration Is Good. Is Trump's GOP Listening?



Photo of mother and daughter from Honduras detained at the U.S. border.
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Here in the Valley, Republican congressional incumbents such as Jeff Denham of Turlock and David Valadao of Hanford are pushing hard for immigration reform.
Elsewhere in America, some GOP House candidates are embracing President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric about building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and voting to drastically cut legal immigration.

Gallup Poll Findings

But a poll released this summer by Gallup indicates that a record-high 75 percent of Americans say immigration is good. In addition, 65 percent of Republicans and people who lean Republican agree. Only 19% of Americans, the pollster said, consider immigration harmful to the country.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz told the Associated Press that Trump energizes the Republican base, but his broadsides and distractions also alienate swing voters who tip battleground House districts.
“This is political malpractice,” Luntz said. “You can’t find me a time in modern times when the economy was this strong and the governing party was headed toward a potential political disaster like this.”
And while Trump won the presidency campaigning against illegal immigration, his administration has “granted fewer visas, approved fewer refugees, ordered the removal of hundreds of thousands of legal residents whose home countries have been hit by war and natural disasters and pushed Congress to pass laws to dramatically cut the entire legal immigration system,” reports USA Today’s Alan Gomez.
Gallup Poll Immigration Chart June 2018
Gallup notes that Americans have long supported immigration.
“Republican legislators are facing a public that is largely supportive of immigration into the U.S., in general. In all but one year since Gallup started asking this question in 2001, majorities of Americans across party lines have viewed immigration as positive for the U.S,” the poll said.
The exception was in 2002 when Gallup asked the immigration question about nine months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Although 52 percent of Americans then backed immigration, slightly less than half of Republicans and Republican leaners said that they supported it.

Immigration vs. Legal Immigration

In this year’s poll, respondents were asked about both “immigration” and “legal immigration.”
Eighty-four percent said legal immigration was a good thing and 13 percent said it was a bad thing. Seventy-five percent answered that immigration was a good thing and 19 percent a bad thing.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email