Migrants continue to crowd the US-Mexico border.
Although they face dangers and extreme conditions, they arrive because in their countries they have suffered persecution, famine, and hurricanes. Also, many have heard rumors that Title 42 enforcement is likely to be removed.
Without Title 42, introduced during the Trump Administration and applied differently to migrants from different countries, many believe they would be able to enter and remain in the United States as refugees.
To the disappointment of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, Haitian, Cuban, Nicaraguan and many from other countries who wait in deplorable conditions in places like Ciudad Juárez, the Supreme Court has already announced that, at least until June 2023, the measure will continue.
What do Americans think about the issue?
According to a recent poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times and YouGov, most Americans agree that migrants should be protected if they are found to be fleeing persecution in their home countries. More specifically, 55% support continuing to offer asylum. Only 23% are opposed.
What is interesting is that despite the country being polarized on various issues, on this topic it would seem that there is agreement between many Democrats and some Republicans.
But the agreement ends when it comes to asking about who would qualify as a refugee. In other words, who is it that is really escaping persecution? Nearly half of the Democrats who participated in the poll agree that most migrants qualify as refugees. By contrast, only 1 in 6 Republicans think alike.
One of the problems that the immigration system faces is that refugees who enter the country do not have the possibility to present their case before an immigration judge sometimes until years after their arrival. While this may benefit migrants, it does not seem to be validated by respondents who think the process needs to be much faster.
More than 4 out of 10 believe that the process should not last more than 6 months, and two thirds more than a year.
The consultation also included questions about the ‘dreamers’, the young people who were brought as children by undocumented parents and who during the Barack Obama government were temporarily protected through an executive order, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which is being challenged in the courts by some republican politicians.
The response from those surveyed was overwhelming. Half think that young ‘dreamers’ should continue with DACA protection, while 29% oppose it.
Faced with the possibility of DACA being declared unconstitutional by the courts, 55% think that undocumented youth should be allowed to continue working in the United States.
When asked if immigration favors the United States, 6 out of 10 answered affirmatively. But 29% think immigration is bad. About half of the latter are Republicans.
Citizenship by birth
Likewise, the majority of Americans supported the constitutional principle that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen. But those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 did not seem to agree with this since 44% thought that this right should be eliminated.
Regarding President Joe Biden, those surveyed do not seem to be very happy with the immigration policies that he has been implementing. Only 33% approve of what he has done so far. A percentage that is even lower than the 40% approval that the president receives in general.
The L.A. poll Times/YouGov was conducted between December 9 and 14 and included 1,573 US citizens.
Escritor y periodista de Paysandú, Uruguay, quien actualmente reside en Nueva York, EE.UU., en donde ha trabajado en diversos medios. Su corazón es charrúa y su pluma es latina.