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Most Americans Favor Trump’s Litmus Test for Potential Immigrants


February 24, 2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Rasmussen Reports most Americans favor screening out immigrants to this country who don’t share our values or a belief in our basic constitutional freedoms.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 61% of American Adults favor a proposal to keep out “those who do not support the U.S. Constitution or who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States would not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred for reasons of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.” Just 19% oppose such a ban, while 21% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is the wording President Trump used in his initial executive order temporarily freezing refugees into this country and visas for those from seven Middle Eastern and African countries until proper vetting procedures to screen out potential terrorists are in place. The question, however, did not identify Trump as the source of the proposal.

Last August when he first proposed it, 59% of voters supported candidate Trump’s temporary ban on immigration into the United States from “the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism” until the federal government improves its screening procedures. Thirty-two percent (32%) were opposed.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans believe that criminals should be prosecuted more severely if it can be proven that their crime was motived by the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. A new high, this finding had previously been in the mid- to upper 40s in surveys since 2009. Twenty-eight percent (28%) still disagree, while 14% are undecided.

Sizable majorities in most demographic groups favor both the immigration litmus test and so-called hate crime prosecutions.

In an interesting side note Democrats, are less supportive of restricting immigrants with hateful ideologies than they are of prosecuting Americans for hate crimes. Republicans, on the other hand, view restrictions on newcomers to this country more favorably than prosecution of existing Americans.

Not surprising given the recent political rhetoric only 49% of Democrats favor keeping out of the country those who do not support the Constitution or who in engage in acts of bigotry or hatred for reasons of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. But 65% of Democrats support prosecuting criminals more severely if it can be proven that their crime was motivated by the victim’s race, color, religion, nation origin or sexual orientation.

Conversely, 78% of Republicans favor the constitutional/hate crime litmus test for immigrants, but only 57% support prosecutions based on the same standards.

Just over half of Americans not affiliated with either major party favor both proposals. But 33% of unaffiliateds oppose hate crime prosecutions, compared to just 16% who are against the restrictions on new immigrants.