By Sean Cockerman
February 28, 2017
WASHINGTON -As President Donald Trump prepares to address Congress on Tuesday for the first time, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll finds that even 72 percent of Trump’s own supporters want a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
Trump is targeting millions of people for possible deportation. But Americans are warm to the notion that immigrants should be welcome.
“The White House is clearly not in step with where public opinion is on this question,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the nationwide survey.
Christopher Harwell, a 31-year-old Trump supporter from Columbia, South Carolina, said it was important to him that people in the country illegally paid a fine. If they do, he sees no problem with offering a chance at citizenship.
“If they get fined, then they would be paying the consequences,” Harwell said. “We as Americans have to do the same thing when we get in trouble, when we break the law.”
Eighty percent of all Americans want Congress to give immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally a chance at citizenship if they learn English, pay fines and have jobs that pay taxes, according to the nationwide survey.
Trump is consumed with building a wall on the Mexican border and cracking down on illegal immigration through increased deportations. He’s made no attempt to offer a path to citizenship for those who are in the country illegally.
Miringoff said his polling often found Trump’s positions opposed by Americans as a whole but supported by a majority of Republicans. This time it’s different, with 69 percent of Republicans in favor of offering a path to citizenship.
“What is startling is the gap between what Republicans and Trump supporters think on this question and the position and direction the White House is taking,” he said.
Trump is expected to bring up immigration in his highly anticipated address to Congress on Tuesday.
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