16A new Pew Research Center poll finds Americans broadly rejecting many of Donald Trump’s views on immigration, at a time when Trump is striking a markedly different tone on the issue to make inroads with minority voters and turn around depressed poll numbers generally.
Large majorities of those surveyed said they think undocumented immigrants fill jobs that U.S. citizens do not want, are as honest and hardworking as U.S. citizens and are no more likely than citizens to commit serious crimes — sound rebukes of Trump’s rhetoric on immigration.
Even some of Trump’s own supporters reported positive views of undocumented immigrants on some issues. They expressed negative views of undocumented immigrants on other issues, including whether they commit more violent crimes than U.S. citizens.
[In latest shift, Trump campaign wavers on mass deportations]
A majority of those surveyed also rejected one of Trump’s signature policies: building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has vowed to get Mexico to pay for the wall, and the proposal has become such a big part of Trump’s presidential campaign that supporters chant “build the wall” at his rallies.
Sixty-one percent of those surveyed by Pew are opposed to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposal has far more support from Republicans and GOP-leaning independents — 63 percent favor it — while 84 percent of Democrats oppose it.
But the poll shows that support for building a border barrier has declined since Trump made it a centerpiece of his campaign. In September 2015, 48 percent of those surveyed by Pew opposed building a fence along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Support for a border fence fell to 38 percent in March, when 34 percent supported a wall in a separate question. In the latest survey, 36 percent support building a wall along the entire border.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the findings.
Other polls also have found a drop in support for the border wall. Rand Corp.’s Presidential Election Panel Survey found that 48 percent of those surveyed in December and January supported a border wall; the same people were asked again in July and August, and support had dipped to 38 percent.
By Katie Zezima for The Washington Post
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