Most Immigrants Back Trump on Ideological Test, Poll Shows

Most voters are willing to give Trump some time to "make America great again." (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Most Americans who immigrated to the U.S. support Donald Trump’s call for a temporary immigration ban from some countries, along with other proposals that appear to view foreigners with suspicion, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

The online survey, conducted after Trump unveiled his national security platform on Monday, shows that the views of immigrants and descendants of recent immigrants do not differ much from those of the general electorate.

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As with the entire electorate, about six out of 10 immigrants (61 percent) said they back Trump’s proposal to have all foreigners take an ideological test when applying for a visa to make sure they share American values. About a quarter of immigrants (26 percent), as with the electorate as a whole (23 percent), said they opposed it.

Immigrants, or children or grandchildren of immigrants, also hold similar views to the entire electorate on Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban entry to the U.S. from people residing in countries with a history of terrorism. But there were small differences among those voters who differ by generation.

Americans who immigrated to the U.S. were the least likely to back the proposal, with 52 percent expressing support for it and 39 percent in opposition. At 68 percent, support for the ban was stronger among first generation Americans than the entire electorate (59 percent). Only 22 percent of that generation said they oppose it, compared with 27 percent of all voters.

Second generation Americans supported the proposed ban by a 27-point margin (59 percent to 32 percent) and third generation Americans backed it 55 percent to 34 percent.

Trump’s call to end “nation-building” was better received by recent immigrants and first generation Americans than the voting electorate as a whole. While about four in 10 voters (42 percent) said they support an end to such operations abroad, nearly five in 10 first-generation immigrants (49 percent) and recent immigrants (47 percent) said they back a more disengaged approach to foreign affairs. Forty-two percent of second-generation Americans and 44 percent of third generation Americans also said they support ending “nation building.”

Immigrants were also more likely to support Trump’s call to work closely with Russia to defeat the Islamic State terror group. Sixty-four percent of all voters said they back collaborating with Russia to fight the group, also known as ISIS. Support was greater among descendants of immigrants, with 73 percent of first generation, 66 percent of second generation and 68 percent of third generation expressing support for the idea. Sixty-two percent of recent immigrants said they support Trump’s support for countering the group with Russia’s help.

Immigrants were slightly more likely to oppose Trump’s border wall than the electorate as a whole. All voters were split at 43 percent on building the wall. Among recent immigrants, half said they opposed it. Almost half of first generation (46 percent) and second and third generation (48 percent) Americans also said they oppose it.

The poll was conducted from August 16-17 and consisted of 2,001 registered voters. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. See toplines and crosstabs.

Morning Consult