Americans are increasingly likely to support the way in which the Republican Party would handle the issue of immigration and to be against legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to start on the pathway to citizenship, according to a new poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
Public opinion appears to have changed dramatically as a result of the influx of undocumented immigrant minors from Central America into the United States during spring and summer this year. Republicans jumped on the surge, arguing that the US border is poorly protected because the Democrats are far too lenient towards illegal immigration and that this attitude resulted in families sending their children on the hazardous journey. The tactic appears to have paid off, with voter trust in the Democratic Party on the wane along with their inclination to give citizenship to undocumented immigrants.
35% of those surveyed think the Republicans would be better equipped to handle immigration, compared with 27% who prefer the approach of the Democrats. This is a big change from the last poll in December, when 31% were in favor of the Democrats and just 26% agreed with the Republican stance.
“The Central American kids totally reopened the dialogue about whether our borders were secure,” notes Republican Bill McInturff, who co-directed the poll. He added that the debate over immigration “has devolved down to one word: amnesty.” McInturff also points out that the poll is not necessarily an indicator of now people will vote.