PoliZette

Americans Want Tough but Sensible Immigration Laws

Pollster Mark Penn tells 'The Laura Ingraham Show' audience that most of the country supports strong border enforcement

More than two-thirds of Americans oppose the idea of abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, according to veteran Democratic pollster Mark Penn.

“In the poll, there was very limited support, less than a third, wanted to abolish ICE, and nearly 70 percent said, no, that would be the wrong thing to do,” Penn told guest host Raymond Arroyo Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Penn was referring to a recent survey by the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) at Harvard, which he supervised.

“I think when you look at this they want sensible but tough border enforcement. They want to deal with people who are here fairly. They want to keep people out. They want to send people home who just cross the border, and they don’t see asylum as just having violence in a country, but really asylum being for people who are being politically persecuted,” he said.

Related: Hysteria Aside, Losing Track of Immigrant Kids Nothing New

The CAPS survey also found that 61 percent of those interviewed believe President Donald Trump is responsible for family separations, while 39 percent blame parents or other adults bringing children into the country illegally.

At the same time, a majority of voters, at 76 percent, want secure borders. Voters also want stricter enforcement of immigration laws, at 70 percent. ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries.

“So you have to look at the public and say they have some very definite views. They want everyone to come together — they want comprehensive reform. They want to make sure parents aren’t separated from their kids, but they want tough border enforcement. And, by the way, they don’t accept the idea of sanctuary cities,” Penn told Arroyo.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced May 7 that all immigrants crossing the border illegal would be arrested. But the policy resulted in an estimated 2,400 children being separated from the adults who illegally brought them into the country.

Related: Critics Are Wrong, Illegals’ Kids Being Well Cared for, Sessions Says

Many of the illegal immigrants arrested at the border with children then ask for asylum, a process that can take longer than the 20 days federal officials can hold minors. Trump administration officials argue they are simply enforcing the law, and that the previous administration encouraged illegal immigrants to bring children with their lack of enforcement.

Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].