Tuesday, June 26, 2018

America as a Moral Example to the World

PRRI is releasing a new national survey conducted last week on President Trump’s immigration policies and views on America’s moral standing following news of refugee families being separated at the U.S. southern border. The new poll out today finds that fewer than half (40%) of the public believes that the U.S. sets a good moral example for the world. Nearly six in ten (58%) believe we do not. Two-thirds (67%) of Republicans and only 20% of Democrats believe the U.S. sets a good moral example for the rest of the world.

The survey also explores Americans’ views on proposed immigration policies and who can be trusted to manage immigration as Congress continues to debate immigration legislation this month. You can view additional findings and analysis here: https://www.prri.org/spotlight/america-as-a-moral-example-to-the-world/

The survey also found that:

 Americans are divided over who they trust to handle the immigration issue:

  • Thirty-eight percent of the public say they most trust the Democrats in Congress to deal with immigration while a nearly equal number say they trust the Republicans in Congress (14%) or the Trump administration (21%). Notably, more than one-quarter of the public say they do not trust anyone to handle the immigration issue (17%) or express no opinion (10%).
  • Democrats overwhelmingly trust congressional Democrats on the issue of immigration (77%), but Republicans are much more likely to trust the Trump administration (47%) than the congressional GOP (30%). Fourteen percent of Republicans and 11% of Democrats say they do not trust anyone to deal with the immigration issue. Independents are closely aligned with the views of the public overall.

America as a Refuge vs. Self-Deportation:

  • Americans largely agree that the U.S. should provide refuge and protection for people who come to the U.S. when they are facing serious danger in their home country. Three-quarters (75%) of the public affirm this statement while roughly one in four (23%) reject it. Views have remained relatively stable since 2014 when 71% of the public agreed that the U.S. Should offer refuge and protection to immigrants facing danger in their home countries.
  • The public is generally opposed to the notion of self-deportation, and believe that the best way to solve the country’s illegal immigration problem is to make conditions so difficult that immigrants return to their home country on their own. Only 27% of Americans agree with this idea while two-thirds (67%) reject it.

Americans are also largely opposed to passing a law that would prevent refugees from coming to the U.S.

  • Only about one in three (31%) Americans say they favor such a policy while roughly six in ten (59%) are opposed to it. Notably, 10% of Americans do not offer an opinion on this issue.
  • The issue reveals stark partisan differences. A majority (52%) of Republicans favor a policy that would prevent refugees from entering the U.S. Thirty-six percent of Republicans oppose it, and another 11% offer no opinion on the matter. Roughly three-quarters (76%) of Democrats and more than six in ten (62%) independents register opposition to this policy.
  • With the exception of white evangelical Protestants, most religious groups oppose laws that would prohibit refugees from coming to the U.S. A majority of white mainline Protestants (55%), Catholics (56%), non-white Protestants (63%) and religiously unaffiliated (69%) Americans oppose a law that would prevent refugees from entering the U.S. White evangelical Protestants are divided with roughly as many in support (44%) as opposition (44%).

The survey also examines views on: building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico; requiring police to check the immigration status of a person they have stopped or detained if they suspect the person of being in the country illegally; and support for a immigration border policy that separates children from their parents and charges parents as criminals when they enter the country without permission.



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