According to a new Rasmussen report, voters are increasingly opposed to offering legal protections to illegal immigrant children who came across the US-Mexico border in record numbers this year.
The poll of around 1,000 voters found that fewer than 1/3 felt that the children should be housed within their home states, and 53% believe the children should not be allowed to attend the public school system.
The Supreme Court has ruled that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same public education that legal children receive, causing a flood of children who speak little to no English or who have psychological issues into some school districts. However, the administration is not making it public knowledge as to where the children are being are placed, and for the most part is not telling local or state officials beforehand. The poll saw this as 46% reported not knowing whether immigrant children were in their local school systems.
Only 29% reported approving offering housing to the immigrant children in their states.
Last week, the Obama administration announced it would spend $9 million over the next two years to provide lawyers for 2,600 of the children who illegally entered the country this year without their parents. The move is supported by immigrant-rights activists who argue that the children, who were leaving countries filled with gang violence and domestic abuse, should have the opportunity to become legal US citizens. The first step in that process is to go through the US legal system.
According to the poll, many voters do not agree with this sentiment. Only 19% reported believing that the children should “have the same legal rights and protections” that U.S. citizens have. A much higher 68% believe they should not be afforded the same rights, and 13% are not sure. Only 30% approve the administration’s handling of the children.
In fact, 68% of respondents feel that using any government money to help illegal immigrants will result in more illegal immigrants coming to the country.
President Obama had also promised to pass an immigration bill in his first year in office, a promise that has since gone unfulfilled, focusing instead on health care, climate change and the economy. The move has caused Obama to lose approval ratings from Hispanics, which had reached 74% in early 2013, and has since dropped to 52%.
Obama has said that he is waiting until after the election to focus on the immigration issue, so as not to confuse the situation with politics.
Most voters do not support the president in his plan to provide amnesty to all illegal immigrants, arguing that Congress should challenge the move in court if he goes through with it. As has been the feeling for multiple years, 67% of voters believe that more efforts should be taken to better secure the borders, rather than providing amnesty. Only 26% stand in support of offering amnesty.
Additionally, 57% believe that a immigrant reform plan should be put in place, offering legal status to those immigrants who arrived illegally but have since obeyed the law, so long as further border support is put in place.
Over 66,000 illegal immigrant children were caught fleeing their home country between October 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014.