Imagine how much Democratic support there’d be for Trump’s proposal if a “permission structure” existed anywhere among their congressional leadership or presidential field in favor of tighter borders. Apart from occasional boilerplate about funding generic “border security,” every bit of rhetorical energy among prominent leftists is aimed at criticizing Trump’s immigration policies. And the further left you go, the more that decays into overt support for open borders. Beto O’Rourke, who’s by no means the most progressive candidate in the field, was lately heard attacking Barack Obama’s deportation policies for being too strict. If there were a-ny-one in a position of influence signaling to rank-and-file Dems that it’s not racist to agree with Trump that Americans should control how many people enter the country, this might be a 50 percent proposition even in that party.
It’s all down to Bernie, I think. He’s the only one still putting up even the pretense of a fight against open-borders lefties.
There’s more net support among independents than there is among Republicans! And there are no sharp racial divisions on the question. Whites split 48/42 in favor of dumping illegals on sanctuary cities. Nonwhites split 44/44.
If you’re thinking that the 31 percent of Democrats who support Trump’s proposal is a fluke result specific to this question, think again. Monmouth found a solid 30 percent or so of Dems sympathetic to other recent Trump arguments about the border crisis. Here’s the result when people were asked if they thought asylum-seekers are genuinely being persecuted back home or trying to game the system:
Once again a plurality sides with Trump and the GOP, as do independents and 30 percent of Dems. How about the administration’s attempt to warehouse asylum-seekers in Mexico while their asylum applications are pending in the U.S.?
A familiar result. Indies tilt towards the White House’s position along with approximately 30 percent of Democrats, handing Trump a clear majority this time among the overall population.
I’m left wondering here if Joe Biden, who’s scrambling to become the Great Centrist Hope for Dems spooked by Sanders and the DSA, would dare inch towards a *somewhat* harder line on border enforcement than the rest of the field. Obviously his platform would be mostly orthodox liberalism — DREAMers should be legalized yesterday, the rest of the illegal population should be legalized eventually, family separation at the border is obscene, etc etc. But if he added in a little rhetoric about making admission to the U.S. more “orderly,” with some low-key verbiage about catch-and-release being a genuine problem, how would that play? The left will be mad but Biden undertook this campaign knowing that they’ll spend every waking hour making him a hate object, the last intraparty obstacle to the socialist revolution’s path to power. If he thinks there are enough centrist Dems out there to hand him the nomination in a death match with Bernie, immigration should logically be a part of his message.
Be sure to skim all of the results from the Monmouth poll, by the way, not just the ones I excerpted in case you’re under the mistaken impression that all of Trump’s immigration proposals have majority or plurality support. Despite the obvious crisis at the border, the wall remains a 42/56 proposition. Just 21 percent of Americans agree with Trump that illegals are more likely to commit violent crimes; among independents it’s 19 percent and just seven percent among Dems.