The vast majority — 88 percent — opposed separating illegal immigrant families while they are in the U.S., and they blamed the Trump administration for the policy. On the other hand, 55 percent (76 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of Democrats, and 55 percent of independents) said illegal immigrant families should be held in custody “until a judge reviews their case” — essentially the new Trump family detention policy.
The end result was that a substantial majority said illegal border crossers, and the children they brought, should be returned to their home countries. To that end, 80 percent (84 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of Democrats, and 78 percent of independents) favored hiring more immigration judges “to process people in custody faster.”
“They [poll respondents] rejected family separation while narrowly favoring family detention,” Penn told me in an email exchange. “Mostly they want people who cross the border illegally to be turned around and returned home efficiently.”