- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A majority of voters support President Trump’s partial immigration pause during the coronavirus pandemic — though they do list other steps such as working on COVID-19 testing and developing a vaccine as higher priorities, according to a new poll Tuesday.

People were slightly less convinced Mr. Trump’s pause will achieve his stated goal of creating space for Americans to win back jobs as the coronavirus recovery begins. Just 47% said they thought the pause would be effective, compared to 41% who doubted that, according to the survey sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center and conducted by Morning Consult.

Mr. Trump has severely limited border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada, and has triggered a portion of the Public Health Act that allows most illegal immigrants to be blocked entry. He also has paused a large swath of new green cards, which go to new permanent legal immigrants.

It’s that latter step that the BPC polled on, and found mixed reviews.

While most people did support the pause, they ranked immigration concerns at the bottom of six listed priorities during the pandemic.

“Americans simply do not think major immigration policy changes should be a big part of the response to this crisis,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, the BPC’s director of immigration and cross-border policy.

She said even many pro-Trump voters doubted the effectiveness of the pause.

Overall, 22% said the pause would be “very effective” in helping Americans find work — and another 22% said it would not be effective “at all.” Another 25% said it would be somewhat effective, while 19% said “not too effective.”

Asked about immigrants’ long-term effects on the economic recovery, 28% said they will help, and 26% said they will hurt, while 27% said it’s a wash. Another 19% didn’t have a position on the question.

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