- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The public seems fed up with both President Trump and congressional Democrats when it comes to immigration, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll Tuesday that shows both sides are seen to be exploiting the issue for political gain.

Six in 10 people say Democrats are exploiting the issue. And a stunning 58 percent of Hispanic voters, who are key to Democrats’ argument, agree that the party is exploiting immigrants.

As for Mr. Trump, 53 percent of voters said he was more interested in exploiting the issue than in finding an honest solution to resolve the decades-long deadlock over immigration policy.

Mr. Trump also suffered badly when voters were asked about separation of illegal immigrant parents from their children at the border, with “sad,” “terrible” and “bad” being the top free-association words that came to voters’ minds, Quinnipiac found.

“The words are G-rated, but a punch to the gut of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.

The survey shows Mr. Trump is not making much headway with his argument that immigrants — and particularly illegal immigrants — are tied to lawlessness and crime.

Just a quarter of voters said “undocumented immigrants,” as the poll referred to them, are more likely to commit crimes than Americans.

While immigrants as a whole are more law-abiding, according to research, there is scant evidence either way to suggest the crime rates of illegal immigrants — though security experts point out that many of them jumped the border, and thus are already guilty of one misdemeanor crime.

Quinnipiac also found that while nearly half of voters — 49 percent — say Mr. Trump is a racist, only 44 percent say his immigration policies stem from racist beliefs. Another 50 percent say his get-tough approach is part of a “sincere interest in controlling our borders.”

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