Reforming the nation’s immigration system has been a cornerstone of the Trump administration, although many Democratic leaders have opposed his various proposals on the matter.
Those critics might be confounded by the results of a new poll, which shows a majority of Americans support more restrictive immigration laws — at least amid an ongoing public health crisis.
“To limit competition for jobs”
According to a Breitbart report, the issue could result in undecided voters breaking in Trump’s favor across key swing states.
Specifically, a majority of respondents to the new Reuters/Ipsos poll expressed support for initiatives such as protecting U.S. workers by reducing the number of foreign guest worker visas issued, placing a priority on hiring Americans over immigrant workers when jobs are scarce, and even cracking down on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants.
The poll, which surveyed 3,335 voters between July 31 and Aug. 4, found that an estimated one in six voters is currently undecided between Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Overall, 53% of those undecided voters said they supported “stopping some legal immigration to limit competition for jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Almost half — about 46% — were also in favor of bypassing normal regulations and quickly deporting undocumented immigrants stopped at the border, both as a means of limiting further spread of the coronavirus and to secure jobs for American workers, as Reuters reported.
“Peel off some support”
Chris Kahn, a political reporter for the news service, broke down some of the findings in a Twitter thread, noting that Trump had the opportunity to “peel off some support” among undecided voters by framing his arguments on the topic of immigration around protecting American workers and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Another recent poll cited by Breitbart reflected majority support for halting the issuance of visas for foreign workers as tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed due to coronavirus-related shutdowns.
That poll, conducted by NPR/Ipsos on 1,115 adults between July 30 and 31, found that 58% supported a policy described as “[b]anning the entry of foreign guest workers and seasonal workers into the U.S.” due to the ongoing pandemic.
Furthermore, 60% of respondents said they favored blocking illegal immigrants from bringing extended family members with them into the U.S. while 78% supported closing the borders to everything except essential travel.
Even mainstream media polling shows that, if the Trump campaign emphasizes the message with the right group of voters, this issue could help the president on Election Day.