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UMD Poll Finds Majority of Americans Don’t View Immigrants as Criminals
By Sara Gavin
Central Americans who spent weeks traveling across Mexico wait to apply for asylum in the United States.
As the Trump administration removes top Department of Homeland Security officials, threatens to close the Mexico-U.S. border and promises to get tougher on “criminals” who cross it, results from a new University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll show most Americans don’t believe undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than American citizens.
The poll, conducted with a nationally representative sample of 3,015 respondents March 15–April 2, probed American attitudes on a variety of issues related to immigration, including the controversial separation of migrant families.
Specifically, 54% of people surveyed for the poll said that undocumented immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes than American citizens, compared with 30% who said they are more likely. However, 56% of Republicans polled agreed that immigrants were more likely to commit crimes, while 82% of Democrats said the opposite.
“Despite the typical partisan divide on this issue, President Trump’s rhetoric and tendency to refer to immigrants as ‘criminals’ could be problematic for him moving forward, as our results show even a large number of Republicans don’t share that view,” said Shibley Telhami, director of the UMD Critical Issues Poll and the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development.
He will share further details at the “Immigrant Stories” event today, part of the university’s Year of Immigration and Social Justice Day.
Other findings from the new Critical Issues Poll include:
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