By Franco Ordonez
September 19, 2016
The majority of Donald Trump supporters say immigrants here illegally should be allowed to stay while 24 percent of all likely voters say they should be forced to leave the country, according to a new Quinnipiac University national poll. And less than half of likely voters support building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Considering just five percent of likely voters consider immigration the top issue facing the nation, the findings reflect the political gamble that the Republican nominee has taken banking on a high turnout of hard-line conservatives that national polls indicate are in the minority.
“The hallmark of Donald Trump's campaign takes a hit,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “Despite a majority view that illegal immigration is troubling, likely voters say no to the wall and yes to letting illegal immigrants apply for citizenship. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that illegal immigrants using government services is more concerning than the potential that they will increase violent crime."
Those here illegally should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship, according to 61 percent of voters interviewed by Quinnipiac. An additional 11 percent say they should be allowed to stay, but not apply for citizenship. Twenty-four percent say these immigrants should be forced to leave the country.
Among Trump supporters, 39 percent say those here illegally should be allowed to stay and seek citizenship and 14 percent say immigrants can stay but not seek citizenship. Forty-five percent say they should be forced to leave.
Despite the findings, Trump has caught up with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and is now tied in the critical battleground states, according to a new CBS poll.
And that’s not to say there is some trepidation among non-Trump supporters about the impacts of immigration.
The Quinnipiac poll found that 51 percent of likely voters, including 80 percent of Donald Trump supporters, are "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about "allowing immigrants who hold different values into the U.S."
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