Poll: Plurality support Trump plan to send migrants to 'sanctuary cities'

Poll: Plurality support Trump plan to send migrants to 'sanctuary cities'
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Slightly more of the Americans polled in a new survey from Monmouth University Poll support President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's proposal to send immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities than oppose it.

The proposal to send migrants to cities which do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities through information-sharing or by detaining immigrants was revealed earlier this month and has been met with an avalanche of Democratic backlash.

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About 46 percent of those polled support the plan, while 43 percent are opposed. Eleven percent saying they did not know whether to support or oppose it, or that their answer would depend on the circumstances.

Slim majorities of Republican (55 percent) and independent (52 percent) respondents back the idea, while only 31 percent of Democrats disagree with the policy.

“I think it is difficult for the public to fully process these novel approaches, some of which were floated in a tweet. If the president’s aim is to keep the immigration debate off balance, it may be mission accomplished,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll comes as the Trump administration highlights the recent spike in illegal border crossings, leading to threats to close the southern border and slap tariffs on Mexico.

While 71 percent of adults in the poll believe that illegal immigration is a “very” (46 percent) or “somewhat” (25 percent) serious issue, the public is divided on President Trump’s proposals to address the issue.

Over half (51 percent) of respondents support making asylum seekers stay in Mexico while they wait for their claims to be processed, while 41 percent are opposed to the policy. However, 56 percent oppose building a wall on the southern border, while only 42 percent are in favor of Trump’s signature campaign promise. 

Despite believing illegal immigration is a serious issue, only 21 percent of those surveyed believe immigrants without legal status are more likely to commit crimes like rape or murder than native-born Americans, and only 24 percent believe that such immigrants take away jobs from American citizens. 

Monmouth University surveyed 801 adults from April 11-15. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.