In the latest Harvard Harris poll, an astounding 83 percent of respondents favored shutting down immigration from Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic. The poll was conducted March 24-26 with a representative sample of 2,410 registered voters.
The poll reveals overwhelming support for an immigration halt from Mexico that cuts across all demographics and party affiliations. Seventy-seven percent of blacks, 75 percent of Hispanics, and 87 percent of whites favored ending immigration from Mexico during the pandemic.
More astoundingly, party politics were not as divergent as might be expected, with 73 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Independents, and 93 percent of Republicans favoring the temporary halt until the pandemic ends. Seventy-four percent of Clinton voters supported such a move, along with 94 percent of Trump voters.
Monolithic results like these are rarely found in all the crosstabs of a poll question. It is clear from the overwhelming support for a temporary immigration halt with Mexico that American voters from all walks of life support the commonsense policies that have been adopted by the Trump administration.
Such widespread support may also indicate a strong public embrace for a new policy announced on March 23 by the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Office for Immigration Review to temporarily suspend all asylum hearings for illegal border crossers in the Migrant Protection Protocols program (MPP). This broad support may also indicate longer term support beyond the coronavirus outbreak for the MPP’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that requires illegal border crossers from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries to wait in Mexico until they are granted an asylum hearing.
Additionally, it suggests strong support for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) recently implemented temporary policy of expedited repatriation for illegal border crossers from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. Further, these poll results suggest broad support for CBP’s new policy, announced on March 30, to return unaccompanied alien minor children to their country of origin rather than turning them over to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The clear takeaway from this most recent poll is that the American electorate as a whole recognizes that border security is national security. Moreover, the national health and economic crises touched off by the global pandemic have driven home the lesson that a return to the comprehensive public health screening regimen of Ellis Island is sound public policy for all legal immigrants and travelers to the United States. The coronavirus is giving American voters a new appreciation for the commonsense view that a nation without borders is no nation at all.