Society

Poll: Immigration Should Be Trump's Top Priority

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates that Americans believe that immigration is the most pressing issue for President Donald Trump and Congress to address. The survey data finds that the majority of Americans want undocumented immigrants to be given a pathway to citizenship and a majority disapproves of Trump's approach to immigration.

The CBS News poll, released on Feb. 23, found that 15 percent of respondents believe that immigration is the most important problem for the new administration needs to address in 2017, ranking it the highest issue of concern. The economy and job creation ranked second, with 13 percent of respondents citing them, and 11 percent believe that health care is the most pressing issue.

Breaking down the data on immigration, the survey found that three in four self-identified Republican respondents do not believe that enough is being done to ensure border security.

Meanwhile, six in 10 of overall respondents believe that undocumented immigrants currently residing in the country should be given a pathway to citizenship, while 23 percent believe that they should be deported. Only one in five of respondents believe that undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than legal citizens.

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The polling also found that 58 percent of respondents oppose Trump's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border while 38 percent are in favor of its construction.

While immigration was rated the most pressing concern among respondents, a majority disapprove of Trump's handling of the issue; 39 percent of respondents approve of Trump's immigration policies while 55 percent disapprove.

On other policy issues, 34 percent of respondents approve of Trump's handling of foreign policy while 53 percent disapprove. The president scored highest on the economy, where 44 percent approve of his approach while 38 percent disapprove.

Finally, 59 percent of respondents were very or somewhat confident that Trump's policies would result in job creation while 39 percent were not very or not at all confident.

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On the majority of polling questions, there was a pronounced partisan divide among Republicans and Democrats. Overall, 39 percent of respondents approve of Trump's job performance while 51 percent disapprove, with 10 percent of respondents saying they have not yet made up their minds on how the president is doing.

On Jan. 25, Trump signed an executive order broadly expanding the criteria for priority deportations of undocumented immigrants. On Feb. 21, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed off on two memos that broadened the criteria for deportations and called for a hiring surge in the DHS, expanding the discretion of immigration agents, and initiating the construction of Trump's proposed border wall, NPR reports.

As of Feb. 22, Gallup's daily tracking poll found that 43 percent of national adults approve of Trump's job performance while 52 percent disapproved.

Sources: CBS News, GallupNPR / Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

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