Trump is rounding up immigrants — but most Americans want them to stay


Most Americans, even most Republicans, disagree with Trump's move to deport undocumented people.

Trump has made his racist attacks on immigrants one of the central tenants of his administration, but a Monday poll from Pew Research shows most Americans favor a much different way of doing things.

When asked if undocumented immigrants should be allowed to remain in the United States if certain conditions were met, an overwhelming 72% of Americans said yes, including 54% of Republicans.

Despite opposition from most Americans, Trump has promised to deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants. On Aug. 7, the Trump administration engaged in one of the nation's largest-ever deportation raids, arresting 680 people in Mississippi and leaving crying children with no parents at home after school to take care of them.

Pew asked how Americans felt about the Trump administration's overall handling of asylum-seekers coming across the U.S.-Mexico border and showed clear disdain for Trump's approach.

Two-thirds of Americans say the Trump administration is doing a bad job, while a mere 33% say it is doing well. Americans seem particularly concerned about the unsafe and wretched conditions of detention facilities along the border.

A full 82% of Americans support "safe and sanitary conditions for asylum seekers once they arrive in the United States," something the Trump administration has repeatedly failed to provide.

During a July visit to detention centers, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) described filthy, overcrowded conditions  that caused him to "choke back tears."

Children in some border facilities drew pictures of themselves in cages, and lawyers visiting the facility said children were forced to sleep on cold concrete floors after being fed uncooked frozen food. One doctor compared what she saw to "torture facilities."

While most Americans are concerned about the well-being of immigrants, some politicians do side with Trump. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) dismissed concerns about overcrowding and lack of food by comparing the situation to a Thanksgiving dinner with a few too many guests.

Trump began his presidential campaign calling Mexicans rapists and has repeatedly called undocumented immigrants criminals. His rhetoric is out of step with most Americans — and most Republicans — who view undocumented immigrants as honest and hardworking, according to Pew.

Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric leads to policies that only cater to a very narrow base, while most Americans say he is doing a bad job handling immigration issues like asylum-seekers.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.