A month ago I posed the question, is illegal immigration the biggest problem? Based on 26 years of Gallup polling the answer was trending towards yes. A month later the answer is yes. A record 27% of Americans say immigration is the biggest issue today. Separate CNN polling also showed immigration as the top issue. Of course, the problem isn’t so much “immigration” as it is illegal immigration.
During the 2016 Presidential cycle, as President Trump rode on his theme of immigration reform with the border wall sitting as a cornerstone of his campaign, only 10% of Americans in Gallup’s research felt this was the top issue. This number is now sitting at a level that’s nearly triple that. But, what are the implications for this upcoming cycle? Many in political settings attempt to conflate immigration reform with illegal immigration. They are two different issues. Solid majorities of Americans don’t believe illegal immigration is acceptable. That includes nearly two-thirds of legal immigrants. If this is shaping up to be a 2020 issue, expect it to be one that President Trump is on the right side of, both in terms of the law and public opinion regardless of the noise in the news media.
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