Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they agree with President Trump’s temporary suspension of new immigrant visas, which the White House says is necessary to ensure U.S. workers are protected as they search for jobs during the economic recovery from the pandemic.
A total of 65 percent of U.S. adults in the Washington Post/University of Maryland survey said they support “temporarily blocking nearly all immigration into the United States during the coronavirus outbreak.” Thirty-four percent opposed the idea.
“By pausing immigration, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” Trump previously said. “... It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad.”
The new Trump policy suspends new immigrant visas for 60 days. Exceptions will be made for medical and other essential workers, spouses and minor children of American citizens, and other areas, according to a White House release.
“Mass migration of low-skilled labor into the United States disproportionately harms historically disadvantaged Americans,” the release said.
The poll reflects results from a USA Today/Ipsos poll in April, in which 79 percent of Americans said they supported a temporary pause on all immigration. Significantly, the USA Today survey showed that Americans back a policy even stricter than what Trump announced.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post survey also found:
- 60 percent of Americans are either very (20 percent) or somewhat (40 percent) worried about contracting the coronavirus and becoming “seriously ill.”
- 50 percent of smartphone users would be willing to use an Apple/Google smartphone app that would tell them if they have been physically close to someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.” Fifty percent would not.
- 66 percent agree that “current restrictions” on “restaurants, stores and other businesses” in their state are appropriate. (Sixteen percent say they’re not restrictive enough, and 17 percent say they’re too restrictive.)
- 64 percent say current restrictions “on the size of public gatherings in your state” are appropriate. (Twenty-two percent say they’re not restrictive enough, while 14 percent say they’re too restrictive.)
The Washington Post survey was conducted April 21-26 among 1,008 adults.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.