Trump’s big wall isn’t going anywhere — and the polls show why

Trump’s big wall isn’t going anywhere — and the polls show why
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Congress refuses to pay for President Donald Trump’s wall. Congress is not clamoring to separate children from their families, as Trump has done.

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The courts have gone beyond congressional inaction, jumping into the fray and stopping Trump cold in his extralegal efforts to punish defenseless people. Trump thinks he can get away with his war on children, the likes of which the country hasn’t seen since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rounded up American citizen children and their families and “interned” them in desert camps guarded by machine-gun-armed soldiers.

 

Where are the people on these and related issues — on DACA, the deferred-action program for people brought here illegally as children, and citizenship for people here illegally who would be legalized by comprehensive immigration reform?

new survey by Latino Decisions measured how people support or don’t support President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE on these issues, by race and ethnicity.

Considering how whites without a college education flocked to the polls in the Upper Midwest and the Rust Belt to vote for Donald Trump, one might expect that the Latino Decisions-conducted survey would provide Trump with overwhelming support from the very white voters who propelled him into the White House. 

Wrong.

Polling 400 voters per district in 61 congressional districts considered swing districts, and analyzing survey answers by race and ethnicity, we find some interesting conclusions that counter popular views, especially Trump and his core supporters.

On making the Deferred Action program permanent, by Congress's enactment of the “Dream Act” legalizing those brought here illegally as children, 86 percent of Latino/Hispanics support it, as might be expected; 82 percent of African Americans support it, too — as do 77 percent of Asian American and 74 percent of Native Americans.

As for whites surveyed, take notice, President Trump: 77 percent also support passage of the Dream Act.

On citizenship for anyone legalized through comprehensive immigration reform, the lowest support comes from whites, with “only” 70 percent approval; 71 percent of Native Americans support it, as do 74 percent of Asian Americans and 75 percent of African Americans.

Latino/Hispanic support for citizenship for those potentially legalized by Congress is at 87 percent. 

Lastly, we have President Trump’s Wall. 

Opportunistically, Democratic U.S. Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos GOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh MORE of West Virginia, Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh MORE of Indiana and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHeitkamp highlights anti-human trafficking bill in new ad Midterm polling data favors Democrats — in moderation This week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos MORE of North Dakota publicly support a “few” billion dollars for an extended wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; they are doing so only because they are running for reelection in states that Trump won handily in 2016, and they need Trump voters now to win another term. 

But it doesn’t matter, because 60 Senate votes are necessary for Trump to get his wall money. And not all Republicans will vote for that, so three Democrats — or even four, five or six Democrats voting in favor — won’t pass a bill providing money for such a wall.

Here are the glaringly low percentages of support for Trump’s big wall: 29 percent of Hispanics/Latinos support it, along with 23 percent of African Americans and 27 percent of Asian Americans. A whopping 41 percent of whites support funding for the wall in the Latino Decisions survey. Only 41 percent. That number parallels the constant approval in polling that has attached to President Trump’s 500-plus days in the White House.

And that means, of course, that 59 percent do not support the wall.

These numbers are validated by a Gallup poll recently published in “Business Insider.” In it, 83 percent of those polled support “Dreamer” citizenship and 57 percent disapprove of Trump’s wall.

White Trump supporters are closely looked at in a study done by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published in The Atlantic. In it, we find outright “fear” among whites: 65 percent of white, working-class Americans believe that U.S. culture and our way of life has deteriorated since the 1950s; 48 percent of white, working-class Americans say “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.” (This is not new; so said the 1840s and 1850s "Know-Nothing" politicians and followers who objected to “papist” Irish Roman Catholics.)

In addition, 62 percent of white, working-class Americans believe the growing number of newcomers from other countries threaten American culture, while only 30 percent say the newcomers strengthen America.

This is interesting, considering that the largest national ethnicity in the U.S. is of German origin, followed by Hispanics, Irish Americans, and assorted Italian, Russian and East European descendants.

The United States of America is always changing. It has since the first Europeans — the Spanish — landed in Florida. The British and French followed. Then came Germans, Sicilians, Russian and Polish Jews, Greeks, Swedes, Norwegians, French Protestants, and so on.

This is the true America. President Trump and his followers need to understand that. But if they don’t, it won’t matter anyway, because the country continues to change as it has since the pilgrims landed — 100 years after the Spanish.

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the author of "The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade" (Floricanto Press 2016) and "The Armenian Lobby & U.S. Foreign Policy" (Berkeley Press 2017). He formerly wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times.