Americans are split on what to do about unaccompanied minors who have entered the country illegally, but more Americans (53%) want to see children from Central America treated like those from Mexico, which would facilitate quicker deportation, than continue to be processed under laws that require greater due process (39%). A new poll from Pew Research, however, shows that Hispanics are somewhat more likely to favor allowing Central American children protection under laws aimed at child trafficking, with 49% favoring current practice and 47% favoring speeding up the process even if it means sending children eligible for asylum home before they can complete their applications. Nonetheless almost 70% of Americans want illegal immigrants to be allowed to stay in the U.S., a number that has remained relatively constant for a number of years. Hispanics are even more likely to want to give legal status to those who currently lack it, 85% according to Pew.
Meanwhile House Republicans are still locked in debates on how best to move forward. Sen.Ted Cruz managed to convince enough conservative House members to oppose the leadership’s efforts to pass legislation to provide funding for humanitarian assistance to the displaced minors to force Speaker John Boehner to pull the bill Thursday night. The Speaker is currently working on separate bills to provide funding, though much less than the White House requested, to deal with the crisis, provide additional funds to states to deploy National Guard troops at the border, and legislation that would deny funds to the Administration for processing applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The president’s DACA executive order from 2012 requires applicants to renew their deferrals every 2 years, which would throw some 500,000 young people into a state of limbo. The punitive action might be popular with the small number of GOP voters who take an aggressively hard line on immigration but would likely cause major problems for the party in the next presidential election. Hispanics constitute the largest growing population of voters and comprise at least 15% of the vote in 4 states and 10% of the vote nationally. While Hispanic voters traditionally vote more Democratic than Republican, the GOP in 5 of the last 9 elections has won at least 1/3 of the Hispanic vote.