July 2, 2018

BYRON YORK: Donald Trump’s Mainstream Immigration Policy.

If a new poll is correct, it appears the Trump administration, after an enormously damaging few weeks, has ended up squarely on the side of the majority of American voters.

The new survey is a Harvard-Harris poll, by former Clinton pollster and strategist Mark Penn. It was conducted June 24-25, with 1,448 registered voters.

On the issue of separations, Penn began with a threshold question: “Do you think that people who make it across our border illegally should be allowed to stay in the country or sent home? Sixty-four percent (83 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of independents) said they should be sent home. Thirty-six percent said they should be allowed to stay.

Then, Penn asked: “Do you think that parents with children who make it across our border illegally should be allowed to stay in the country or sent home?” The presence of children made little different in the result: 61 percent (81 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of independents) said they should be sent home, while 39 percent said they should be allowed to stay. . . .

The end result was that a substantial majority said illegal border crossers, and the children they brought, should be returned to their home countries. To that end, 80 percent (84 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of Democrats, and 78 percent of independents) favored hiring more immigration judges “to process people in custody faster.”

“They [poll respondents] rejected family separation while narrowly favoring family detention,” Penn told me in an email exchange. “Mostly they want people who cross the border illegally to be turned around and returned home efficiently.”

Penn’s polling found other results broadly favorable to the Trump approach to immigration.

As I’ve said before, there’s a huge gap between elite and mainstream opinion here. I suspect the biggest predictor of which side you’ll fall on is whether you employ a nanny or a gardener.