Acceptance Growing For Undocumented Immigrants

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Jeanette Vizguerra's deportation was an “enforcement priority” as she had two misdemeanor convictions.
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President Donald Trump's election victory came amid promises to crack down on illegal immigration, perform mass deportations and build a wall along the southern border. But as Trump has begun to implement his hard-line policies, American public opinion seems to be turning against the president.

Only 27 percent of respondents from a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday believe that the government should attempt to deport all undocumented immigrants, while 71 percent believe the government should not be attempting that kind of mass deportation. What's striking about these responses is how they have trended toward acceptance of undocumented immigrants in recent years.

Read: Edna Kenny-Trump Meeting: Full Text Of Irish Prime Minister's Immigration Speech

The same poll found that 30 percent of respondents thought the government should deport all undocumented immigrants in September, and 35 percent thought so at the end of 2015. The newest poll, conducted between March 1 and 4, shows opinion shifting away from mass deportation.

This trend is evident in responses to similar questions. A full 90 percent of respondents were in favor of a bill that would provide amnesty, with a path toward citizenship, for undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for multiple years, have a job, speak English and are willing to pay back taxes. Only 9 percent opposed the hypothetical bill. In the beginning of 2014, 81 percent were in favor of such a bill, with 17 percent opposed.

The poll showed most Americans favor deporting undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes while living in the U.S. But it also showed that support for deporting undocumented immigrants has actually dipped since September. Eighty-three percent of respondents held that position then, compared to 78 percent now.

The poll surveyed 1,025 adult Americans and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent.

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