Poll: Nearly 9 in 10 Americans Support a Program for Dreamers to Stay

Lawmakers working to find a solution by Trump’s deadline

Immigration rights demonstrators hold signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Sept. 5 to oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly nine in 10 Americans support a program that allows undocumented childhood immigrants to remain in the United States, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said they supported some kind of program for “undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service and have not been convicted of a serious crime.”

Consensus on how to handle the legal status of these immigrants spanned the ideological spectrum. Ninety-six percent of self-identified liberals, 87 percent of moderates, and 77 percent of conservatives supported a program for them to remain in the country.

The poll results come just a few weeks after President Donald Trump announced he would be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, initiated under President Barack Obama in 2012. Trump has set a six-month deadline for Congress to come up with a solution for those who qualified for DACA and has expressed a willingness to negotiate with congressional Democrats on a deal that includes increased border security.

“We’re working on a plan — subject to getting massive border controls,” the president said earlier this month.

“You have 800,000 young people, brought here, no fault of their own. So we’re working on a plan. We’ll see how it works out. We’re going to get massive border security as part of that. And I think something can happen, we’ll see what happens, but something will happen,” he added.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is leading a task force of fellow House Republicans to find a compromise deal while Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows seeks a more conservative solution.

Sixty-five percent of the poll’s respondents said they would support a measure that paired increased funding for border security with a proposal to let the immigrants, also known as Dreamers, to stay in the United States.

And most, 55 percent, said they were opposed to reducing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country by half. Respondents were split on that issue based on party and ideology, with Republicans and conservatives favoring a reduction by half and Democrats, independents, liberals and moderates opposing it.

The poll interviewed 1,002 adults by landline and cell phones from Sept. 18-21. The overall results carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.