A new survey in battleground states shows that voters reject Donald Trump’s plans for immigration. Trump has campaigned on the promise of building a wall on the Mexico border, mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants and a religious test to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Now a poll by bipartisan group Fwd.us shows that voters in Colorado, Florida and Nevada are opposed to Trump’s plans, while acknowledging that the immigration system is broken, says Todd Schulte, president of the organization, which was founded to provide a political outlet for the technology industry.
The group supports comprehensive immigration reform, which it defines as an “earned pathway to citizenship, border security and a modernized visa system,” Schulte says.
Voters in the three swing states rejected every part of Trump’s immigration platform, the group said. Here’s the breakdown:
- Rounding up and deporting all immigrants living here illegally (66 percent oppose, 49 percent oppose strongly)
- Revoking citizenship from children of immigrants living here illegally (65 percent oppose, 49 percent strongly)
- Temporarily banning foreign Muslims from entering the United States (55 percent oppose, 43 percent strongly)
- Building a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border (54 percent oppose, 44 percent strongly)
The numbers make Fwd.us optimistic that Congress will act in early 2017. That’s due in part to the opposition to Trump’s rhetoric, which many people see as divisive and “un-American,” said Rob Jessmer, campaign manager for Fwd.us.
“As far as what’s a causing action, here are the facts: Secretary [Hillary] Clinton least popular Democratic nominee in modern political times,” he said. “She is likely going to win. These [poll]numbers — while it may be a close race — she is doing well with minority groups and also with disaffected white voters who are not pleased with rhetoric. The least popular candidates get chosen when we refuse to act on the problem. We thought we would act in 2012, but apparently it’s going to take one more general election. By any measure, [Barack] Obama was a stronger candidate. It will be remarkable if she won, but look at any polling, she’s clearly favored. One reason is the [Republican] party’s view on immigration. And it’s worse now because of Trump’s rhetoric.”
Voters in the three states polled has the race between Clinton and Trump within three percentage points. But Clinton leads by double digits among independent voters — 44 percent to Trump’s 33 percent — and its the independent voters who most strongly oppose Trump’s immigration proposals, the group said. But opposition was also high among registered Democrats and Republicans.
Trump’s plans have coalesced the argument, Schulte said.
“There is a new level for support for immigration report, and the polls suggest new intensity for it,” he said. “Trump has activated support for comprehensive reform. I think there’s a change in terms of what we see in the data — more support for reform — but also to frame the debate, no one was talking about it before. No one had said let’s round up 11 million people, the 3 to 4 million American citizens will undocumented parents. It kind of clarified the debate. What they want is border security and modernization of the legal visa process. We’re seeing more intensity in opposition to Trump’s really terrible, absurd plans for immigration.”
And if Clinton is the winner of the presidential election, she’s vowed to take up much of the immigration plan in her first 100 days, Jessmer said.
“We’re optimistic it can be done right out of the gate,” he said. “There’s strong bipartisan support.”
Why is the tech industry interested in immigration?
“The plans are bad for innovation,” Schulte said. “We are a bipartisan organization — bipartisan staffing, outlooking, financial contributors. We take that really seriously. It’s ingrained in our DNA. It’s made for some fun, weird conversations — we don’t always agree on everything. But we are united on the fact that our immigration system is broken. We need to fix it, secure the border, reject mass deportation in favor of an earned path to citizenship. We see from the business and tech communities — along with folks in the faith community, agriculture business — we’re united by the opposition that we’re going to round up 11 million people at a cost six times what we spent to go to the moon. His plans are bad for innovation, bad for business, bad for the economy. That’s why we’ll fight on this issue.”