A new Quinnipiac poll is out. The subject: President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, specifically the highly contentious “zero tolerance” family separations policy which faced criticism so heated, the president was forced to sign an executive order––a flawed one, but an executive order nonetheless––which “ends” the policy.
Yet it continues, with reports of migrant children as young as three years old brought before judges with little to no legal recourse. Many political leaders and commentators have openly condemned the policy and now, the Quinnipiac poll has taken questions about the policy to the American public.
Quinnipiac asked respondents to describe in one word how they “feel about children being separated from their parents at the border.” It’s worth noting that numbers below are not percentages. “Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times,” Quinnipiac says.
Words that top the list include sad, terrible, bad, wrong, disgusted, horrible and unfortunate.
The responses fine and necessary were given nine and 11 times respectively. Agree appears five times. Approve appears 10 times.
— Quinnipiac University Poll (@QuinnipiacPoll) July 3, 2018
Responses to the poll have been somewhat mixed, as evidenced by Quinnipiac’s Twitter feed.
Funny thing about a one word poll, it offers no solutions, or the ability to articulate a response to a complex issue, Like “sad” but these people need to stop coming into our country illegally. “Mad” because Congress is not doing their job!
— Tim (@Tim42382232) July 3, 2018
I don't give a CRAP about the words to describe this. They BROKE the law. This poll is STUPID.
— Steve Kishel (@sekishel) July 3, 2018
Angry. If they polled me, that would be the word.
If I could use more than one word, I would put expletives in front of "Angry."
— Stephen Perry (@StephenOfTroy) July 3, 2018
I wonder if those who reply “fine” would have said the same thing when their Jewish neighbors were forced onto trains….
— D (@dbdnyny) July 3, 2018
Other questions from Quinnipiac’s survey reveal a shift in attitudes toward migrants.
For example, Quinnipiac asked respondents if they believed undocumented immigrants were more likely to commit crime than American citizens.
25 percent responded “yes”; 69 percent responded “no.” That’s a noticeable difference from a similar poll Quinnipiac conducted April 11, in which 22 percent said “yes” and 71 percent said “no.”
A question about the motives behind President Trump’s immigration policy yielded some rather divided results. For example, Republicans by a wide margin responded that the president has a “sincere interest in controlling our borders.” Only 15 percent of Democrat respondents said the same. By contrast, 80 percent of Democrat respondents believe the president’s immigration policy is racially motivated.
The president, for his part, has continued to rail against Democrats, accusing them of stymying his immigration proposals.