President Trump’s tough stand on immigration – the signature issue that powered his 2016 campaign – is getting higher marks from voters, and Republican House candidates are joining in as the November elections approach.
A new Harvard/Harris poll shows 76 percent of Republican voters support Trump’s immigration policies. Among all voters, favorable views of his immigration positions score higher than the president’s overall approval rating.
The poll affirms an earlier survey that found widespread support for tougher policies on immigration – both illegal and illegal.
Two states tell the story:
Wisconsin voters, who went for Trump in 2016, favor reducing legal immigration by a margin of 57 percent to 31 percent.
More surprisingly, voters in California – a deep blue state with the highest percentage of immigrants – support immigration cuts by an almost identical percentage, 57-32.
Equally stunning: Only 38 percent of California voters favor continuing chain migration; 51 percent said Congress should allow “immigrants to bring in only their spouse and minor children.”
USA Today reported this week that Republican congressional candidates – formerly reticent to speak out about immigration — are clamoring aboard Trump’s bandwagon.
So far this election cycle, GOP candidates have aired more than 14,000 campaign ads touting a tough Trump-style immigration platform.
Acknowledging the pronounced Trump effect on the electoral landscape, USA Today called the emphasis on immigration “a dramatic shift from the midterm elections in 2014.”
Democratic House candidates, meantime, are saying little or nothing about the issue.
During a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California warned backsliding members that softer immigration policies – including an extension of President Obama’s controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – could demoralize the GOP base and end party control of the lower chamber.
Bob Dane writes for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.