Poll: Republicans would shoulder blame for DACA failure

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A majority of Americans says that Republicans would bear most of the responsibility if Congress fails to resolve the fate of the so-called Dreamers by a looming deadline, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said Republicans would shoulder the blame if lawmakers cannot reach an agreement to codify the protections for recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Significantly fewer respondents – just 26 percent – said that Democrats should be blamed if a DACA deal isn’t reached, according to the new poll. 


An overwhelming majority of Democratic respondents, 86 percent, said Republican lawmakers would be to blame. By comparison, 57 percent of GOP respondents said they would fault Democratic lawmakers, the poll found.

Most Americans – 52 percent – also said that Democrats can do a better job than Republicans of handling immigration, while 38 percent said that Republicans are more capable on immigration.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide from Feb. 16-19. Its margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.

DACA temporarily shields young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. President Trump rescinded the program in September, but gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative solution for the program’s recipients.

The Senate rejected three separate proposals last week aimed at resolving the young immigrants’ fate, after Trump declared that he would veto any measure that did not directly address his immigration priorities.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sponsored the White House’s proposed measure, which would have given Dreamers a path to citizenship, but also sought to curb legal immigration. That bill failed in a 39-60 vote.

The debate over DACA also forced a three-day government shutdown last month, when Senate Democrats declined to back a short-term spending bill unless it addressed protections for the Dreamers.

Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for Congress’s struggle to reach an agreement on DACA legislation. In a tweet on Tuesday, he accused Democrats of not actually wanting to address the protections. 

Democrats, however, have argued that Trump and some conservatives in Congress have stymied efforts to pass a clean bill addressing DACA by demanding funds for Trump’s proposed border wall and seeking to end family-based immigration.

Shortly after he rescinded DACA in September, Trump suggested that he would revisit the issue if Congress was unable to reach a deal on a legislative fix. White House chief of Staff John Kelly, however, said earlier this month that Trump is unlikely to extend the deadline.

Tags DACA Donald Trump Dreamers Immigration John Kelly Quinnipiac poll
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