Poll: Americans overwhelmingly approve of ‘root causes’ immigration strategy
A vast majority of Americans approve of the idea of engaging countries abroad to address the causes of migration before it happens, according to a new nationwide poll released Thursday.
Pollster Civiqs found that 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that the United States needs to engage with other countries to address migration patterns.
On a partisan basis, 86 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans, as well as 81 percent of independents, agree with that approach, according to Civiqs, which conducted the poll for Immigration Hub, a progressive immigration advocacy group.
The Biden administration’s approach to surging apprehension numbers at the border is focused on addressing the so-called root causes of migration in Central America.
President Biden, in his first speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, lauded the approach, led by Vice President Harris, which seeks to separately address acute causes of migration, like natural disasters, and long-term issues in the region, like bad governance and chronic violence.
The poll found that 57 percent of Americans accept illegal immigration when the immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries.
That support is lower for undocumented immigrants who come for other reasons; 46 percent agree with immigrants arriving illegally to escape poverty or hunger, while 36 percent do if the migrants are seeking to reunite with family members, and 31 percent do if the migrants are looking for jobs in the United States.
“The American people want a smart and humane immigration system that effectively manages the border while allowing America to be the ‘shining city on the hill’ for people fleeing violence in their home country,” Sergio Gonzales, executive director of the Immigration Hub, said in a statement.
The poll also found more support for a high-tech approach to border security than for beefing up traditional enforcement and building a wall, but with substantial differences in support depending on partisanship and from region to region.
Overall, 54 percent of those surveyed support a transition to high-tech surveillance over a wall system and more agents. But 71 percent of Republicans prefer the more traditional approach.
And while the high-tech approach is favored by majorities throughout the country, it receives 58 percent support in the Pacific Northwest, but only 51 percent support in the Mountain Northwest, as well as in Arizona, Utah and California.
Meanwhile, the Civiqs poll is more or less consistent with previous polling on harsh immigration enforcement policies like family separation, which between a third and a quarter of respondents approve of, with slight regional differences.
Support for such policies is lowest in the Mid-Atlantic, where only 26 percent of respondents approved, and highest in the plains states, where 36 percent of respondents agreed with the policies that defined immigration enforcement under former President Trump.
The Civiqs poll was conducted among 3,032 registered voters who answered an online survey April 15-20. According to Civiqs, the survey has a 1.9 percentage point margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level.
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