Most Americans support DACA - but Trump's base opposes

September 05, 2017, 8:30 PM GMT+0

57% of Trump voters want him to end DACA

President Trump’s decision on Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals kept a promise he made during the campaign – a promise that matters to those who voted for him last November. The DACA program – which protects undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children and grants temporary legal status to those “dreamers” – is supported by most Americans, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. But Trump voters overwhelmingly oppose it, while Republicans are closely divided.

The poll was completed this weekend, before the announcement that the program would end. But implementation will be delayed, offering Congress a chance to pass legislation to permit the 800,000 young adults who would be affected to remain in the country. DACA was created through a 2012 executive order by former President Obama, and never was authorized by Congress.

As of last weekend, the public overall would have kept the program – less than a third favored ending it. A majority of Trump voters and just about half of Republicans said they would end it.

The Trump base has been much more worried illegal immigration than the public in general, both during the election campaign and more recently. Today, nearly two-thirds of those who voted for the President say immigration is a very important issue for them. Fewer than half the public overall thinks that.

And Trump voters are much more punitive when asked what to do about it. A majority of the public would allow those currently in the country illegally to remain and even apply for citizenship. A majority of Trump voters want them to leave.

The public opposes building a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. But Trump voters support it by eight to one. The issue is so important that 60% of Trump voters say they would support using the debt ceiling legislation (which must be approved before early October or the country will not be able to meet its financial obligations) to force Democrats to vote for funding the border wall. That is something the public opposes.

See the results from this week's the Economist/YouGov poll