According to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 19 percent of Americans are in favor of deporting Dreamers -- those who are unauthorized in the U.S. only because they were brought here illegally as children. As expected, a large majority of Americans -- at least 60 percent -- prefer to have the Dreamers stay in the U.S. legally.
The poll surveyed 1,150 U.S. adults between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2. The participants were drawn from NORC's existing AmeriSpeak panel, which was designed to be representative of the American population. The poll has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.
As you may know, the Obama administration put in place a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which was narrowly tailored to give Dreamers a way to legally live, work and go to school in the States without threat of deportation. That program has strict requirements, including maintaining a clean criminal record. Unfortunately, President Trump announced last month that the DACA program will be phased out.
The DACA program could still be saved by Congress, which Trump has given six months to act. The end of DACA would affect approximately 800,000 Dreamers who currently have permits under the program.
Support for the Dreamers cuts across party lines, with more Republicans supporting legal status for Dreamers than not. That support goes deep -- even among those who support the border wall. Among those who said they wanted a wall built on the U.S.-Mexico border, 38 percent supported allowing Dreamers to stay in the U.S.
"For the ones who are already here, there should be a way for them to stay because it wasn't their fault," said one of those surveyed in the poll. "But you have to give them a path to citizenship."
"Giving Dreamers the ability to earn citizenship is the most popular bipartisan, not just immigration, issue, the single most united issue in the country," commented the president of FWD.us, a group founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for immigration advocacy.
Another question the poll asked was whether the participants approved or disapproved of President Trump's handling of immigration policy. A large majority, 64 percent, disapprove.