In a survey conducted days after tear gas was used on migrants trying to enter the United States near San Diego, 25% of voters nationwide believe the United States Border Patrol is too harsh on on illegal immigrants. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 43% believe the enforcement policies are too lenient and 32% are not sure.
These attitudes are virtually identical to those found in a mid-October survey, suggesting that the latest border incident had little impact.
As in the earlier survey, there remains a strong partisan divide on this question. Among Republican voters, 65% believe the enforcement is too lenient while just 12% say it is too harsh. Democrats are more divided but lean in the opposite direction: 40% say too harsh and 22% too lenient. A plurality (46%) of Independent voters say the policy is too lenient and 21% too harsh.
There is also a significant racial divide on the question (see question wording and crosstab results).
Data released earlier today found that 62% of voters see a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Legal immigration is overwhelmingly seen as good for the United States while an equally overwhelming majority see illegal immigration as bad.
Scott Rasmussen’s weekly column reviewed the data and found that elite opinion is standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. The failure of political and media elites to grasp the general public’s perspective on immigration is a big part of the reason that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
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This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted November 27-28, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).