As children from Central America pour across the nation’s southwest border, most Americans want to speed up their deportations and disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the situation, a poll out Wednesday finds.
Only 28% of those surveyed approve of Obama’s response to the surge of children along the border, while twice as many (56%) say they disapprove of his efforts, according to the poll by the non-partisan Pew Research Center.
“That is one of the lowest ratings for his handling of any issue since he became president,” the report said.
Republicans don’t get off the hook in the report’s finding. More respondents said Republicans need to do a better job on immigration (42%) than those who said Democrats need to do better (40%).
A majority (53%) said the United States should speed up the deportation process for those children, even if it means that some who are eligible for asylum end up getting deported.
More Republicans favor that option — 60%. Democrats are more divided on the issue: 47% say they’d rather keep the policy of a slower deportation process, while 46% support faster deportation.
Those numbers help explain the difficulty Washington has faced in getting a handle on the flood of immigrant children crossing the southwest border with Mexico. Four yours ago, fewer than 4,000 children from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were caught crossing the border. That number has passed 40,000 in the first nine months of the 2014 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
The White House has responded with a range of answers. It has requested $1.8 billion to help the Department of Health and Human Services provide better care and housing for the children, who have been packed in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities along the border. The White House also requested $1.6 billion to tighten border security and add dozens of judges, prosecutors and asylum experts to speed up deportation hearings… see more