December 11, 2018
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Survey Results & Analysis: Immigration
With the possibility of a government shutdown looming, 57% of Americans think President Donald Trump should compromise on the border wall to prevent gridlock. 36% do not think the president should compromise even if it means a government shutdown, and 8% are unsure. Republicans stand their ground. 65% of Republicans do not think Trump should compromise on the issue. Democrats (71%) and independents (63%) favor negotiating to avoid a shutdown.
Nearly seven in ten Americans (69%) do not consider building a border wall between the United States and Mexico to be an immediate priority for the next Congress. This includes half of Americans who do not consider building the wall to be a priority at all and 19% who consider the wall a priority but not an immediate one. 28% think it is an immediate priority for Congress.
74% of Democrats say the border wall is not a priority at all while 63% of Republicans say it is a top one. 51% of independents do not perceive the border wall to be a priority at all.
“With Democrats and independents not connected with President Trump’s desire to build a border wall, it’s not surprising that they want him to compromise to avoid a government shutdown,” says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “On this issue, President Trump and the Republicans are on one side of the fence and Democrats and independents are on the other.”
President Trump’s approval rating on how he is handling immigration policy is upside down. 44% approve, and 52% disapprove. Four percent are unsure. Most Republicans (91%) approve of how the president is tackling the issue. Most Democrats (85%) and a majority of independents (54%) disapprove.
Drilling down into the specifics of President Trump’s immigration policy, a majority of Americans (53%), including 92% of Republicans and even 26% of Democrats, approve of how Trump is handling the protection of U.S. borders. 43%, including 71% of Democrats, disapprove. Independents divide, 49% approve to 47% disapprove.
President Trump scores fewer points on other aspects of his immigration policy. Majorities of Americans disapprove of how the president is dealing with undocumented immigrants already in this country (55%) and how Trump is handling the reuniting of immigrant children separated from their parents at the border (54%). The plurality (48%) also disapprove of how Trump is handling the migrant caravan. Partisan differences exist on each of these questions.