Polling data shows that most American voters blame the parents of illegal immigrant children, not the federal government, who have been detained at the U.S./Mexico border by immigration officials. According to the Rasmussen polling organization, when families are arrested and separated after attempting illegal entry into the country, 54 percent of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law.  The poll -- which surveyed 1,000 American voters June 19-20 -- showed that only 35 percent believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent are not sure.

Pollster Mark Penn, who was Hillary Clinton's chief strategist in her 2008 presidential campaign, told Hill.TV on Thursday that most  Americans do not support the so-called "sanctuary cities" that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in turning over illegal aliens for deportation. According to a survey he conducted, 84 percent of Americans are in favor of turning illegal aliens to federal immigration agencies. "I asked them ‘do you think notifying ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] would in fact increase crime because it would inhibit people from reporting crimes or does it decrease crimes because it takes criminals off the street,’ and they overwhelming said ‘decrease crime,’” Penn told Hill.TV “Rising.”

Republicans, according to the Rasmussen survey, are mostly decided over the issue: 82 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters blame the parents for breaking the law. But 60 percent of Democrats say the government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Moreover, 
75 percent of Democrats think the Trump administration is too aggressive in detaining illegal immigrants, whereas only 23 percent of Republicans and a 46 percent of unaffiliated voters feel that way. 

Among all voters surveyed, 49 percent say the Trump administration is too aggressive in enforcing the law on illegal immigrants, while 25 percent say it’s not aggressive enough and  21 percent view the administration’s policies as about right. Fifty-four percent agree with President Trump when he says, “The United States will not be a migrant camp. And it will not be a refugee-holding facility – it won’t be.” Thirty percent disagree, while 16 percent are undecided.

"Forty-four percent (44 percent) of voters said in April that Trump is doing a good or excellent job handling issues related to immigration. This is higher approval than President Obama earned on this issue at any point during his time in office," said Rasmussen.

Just over half (52 percent) of all voters favor the immigration reform plan detailed by Trump in his State of the Union speech that would create a pathway to citizenship for those brought to this country illegally when they were children, build a wall on the Mexican border and change legal immigration to a more merit-based system. And only 37 percent say they want to live in a sanctuary community that protects illegal immigrants from federal immigration authorities.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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