Nearly nine in ten Americans feel that illegal immigration is a serious problem facing the country, and a majority want illegal immigrants to be deported more quickly, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.
The survey found that 67% of respondents felt that illegal immigration was an “extremely” serious or “very serious” problem. Another 22% felt it was a “somewhat serious” problem, while 10% said it was “not too/at all serious.”
There have been nearly 60,000 illegal immigrants who have been apprehended since October of last year, and federal officials expect at least 150,000 more will be next year. The number of illegal immigrant juveniles who have been caught drastically spiked after President Barack Obama enacted his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that gave temporary amnesty to some DREAMers. In the poll, 68% disapprove of Obama’s handling of illegal immigration while only 31% approve.
A majority of respondents said that illegal immigrant juveniles fleeing violence should not be given refugee status and feel the law should be changed so those not from Mexico and Canada can be more quickly deported.
Santiago Moncada, “a 65-year-old Austin resident,” told the Associated Press, “You can’t just cross the border illegally.” He said his heart went out to the illegal immigrants but he advocated legal immigration.
“My problem is, ‘Who’s going to take care of them?'” he said. “There comes a time when we have to say, ‘enough is enough.'”
Another respondent told the outlet, “We can’t take care of the whole world.”
The poll was conducted July 24-28; its margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.