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Most GOP Voters Want a Border Wall in Trump’s First Year

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Republican support for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border right away remains strong, but other voters are growing even less enthusiastic. With it or without it, voters are closely divided over whether President-elect Trump and the GOP Congress can stop illegal immigration into this country.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 37% of Likely U.S. Voters think Trump should build a wall along the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration during his first year in office. Fifty-three percent (53%) disagree, while 10% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Support for building the wall is down from 42% in April and 51% in August of last year when Trump first proposed it.

Unchanged from the spring, however, are the 65% of Republicans who believe Trump should build the wall during his first year in office. But that view is shared by only 16% of Democrats and 33% of voters not affiliated with either major political party.

Among all voters, 45% are confident that Trump and Congress will actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration, but that includes only 19% who are Very Confident. Fifty percent (50%) don’t share that confidence, with 23% who are Not At All Confident.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 4-5, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters think the government needs to do more to control the border but still aren’t sure that even that’s enough to make them support a path to citizenship for those already here illegally.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans are confident that Trump and Congress will secure the border and prevent illegal immigration, compared to 24% of Democrats and 37% of unaffiliated voters.

Men are more supportive of a wall in Trump’s first year in office than women are and more confident that illegal immigration can be halted.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to support building a border wall right away. Older voters also are more confident that Trump and Congress will seal the border and stop illegal immigration.

Forty-three percent (43%) of whites want Trump to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in his first year in office, but just 17% of blacks and 26% of other minority voters agree. Whites are much more confident than the others that illegal immigration can be prevented.

Among voters who favor the immediate building of a wall, 87% are confident that illegal immigration will actually be halted. But 78% of those who oppose the wall lack that confidence.

When Rasmussen Reports asked voters shortly after the election what Trump should do first, building a border wall came in last of five options, with only six percent (6%) support. First on the list is repealing and replacing Obamacare, the choice of 25%, closely followed by  filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court at 22%.

Voters strongly support two other immigration policies Trump has championed: deporting illegal immigrants convicted of major felonies and mandatory prison sentences for those who try to return.

A tie vote in the U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld a lower court ruling that halted President Obama’s plan to exempt millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. Most voters continue to oppose that plan and believe instead that the U.S. government needs to more aggressively deport those who are here illegally.

Prior to the election, few voters thought the government would bring illegal immigration to an end regardless of who's in the White House. Most believe amnesty for illegal immigrants is more likely to happen instead.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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