Polling analyst: Changes to legal immigration ‘the real sticking point among Democrats’


A Morning Consult senior polling reporter said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE’s push for cuts to legal immigration is the “real sticking point” in the immigration debate.
“The president has also demanded changes to the legal immigration system and that is where the real sticking point is among Democrats and even among some of the more moderate Republicans,” Cameron Easley told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What's America Thinking."
"While you see overwhelming bipartisan support for a path to citizenship for the youngest brought to the country illegally, the Dreamers, and even just the undocumented larger population in general, the fear among Republican leaders is that this will alienate a very distinct segment on the Republican base," Easley said.
Easley noted that Republicans can get behind Trump’s call for increased border security and building a wall on the southern U.S. border - and have even shown a willingness to compromise on a path to citizenship for some immigrants brought to the U.S. as children - but that some have balked at cuts to legal immigration.
Easley's comments come as the Trump administration continues to deal with the fallout of its "zero-tolerance" policy, which resulted in the separation of migrant families at the U.S. southern border before Trump signed an executive order ending the practice last month. 
Republicans and Democrats tend to divide along party lines when it comes to immigration policy.
A Quinnipiac University poll last month found that the majority of Republicans supported the Trump administration's practice of separating families that illegally crossed the border.
A Gallup poll last month found that a majority of Americans favor a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and opposed constructing additional barriers along the U.S. southern border. 
Fifty-five percent of Republican voters polled said they supported the policy, while 35 percent said they did not support it. 
The same poll found that 66 percent of Americans opposed the practice.

— Julia Manchester