Over half of Americans would support the Justice Department taking legal action against so-called “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants, according to a survey released Friday.
Sixty-two percent of likely voters back the DOJ penalizing cities that do not cooperate with federal authorities on immigration laws, according to the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports.
The firm found 26 percent of likely voters oppose such legal action. Another 12 percent are undecided on the matter.
Friday’s survey found 79 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of unaffiliated voters support DOJ action against sanctuary cities. Democrats were less enthusiastic, with 43 percent in support.
The new survey also found strong support for the federal government cutting off funding for sanctuary cities. Rasmussen found 58 percent of likely voters would support cutting funds, with 38 percent opposing and 10 percent undecided.
Republicans were once again overwhelmingly supportive, backing funding cuts with 79 percent support. Unaffiliated voters, meanwhile, register at 61 percent, while Democrats are at 46 percent.
Sanctuary cities are receiving new scrutiny following a fatal shooting of a woman in San Francisco last week; the suspect is an illegal immigrant.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday to killing Kathryn Steinle, 32, on July 1.
Lopez-Sanchez had reportedly been deported to his native Mexico five times and has seven prior felony convictions.
He was released from jail four months ago under San Francisco policies rather than entering the custody of federal immigration officials.
2016 GOP presidential contenders were quick to voice outrage at sanctuary cities.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on Wednesday called them “ridiculous” and said they should disappear.
Business mogul Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThe resurrection of the U.S.-Egyptian partnership Fake news? What about Trump’s fake promises? Muhammad Ali Jr. detained by immigration at Florida airport MORE, meanwhile, has cited Lopez-Sanchez’s alleged actions in his calls for tighter border security.
“This senseless and utterly deplorable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately,” he said on July 3.