Photo courtesy of USA Today
A large percentage of Tennessee voters support immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, and an even larger percentage support “Dreamers” who were brought to the country as children, according to a new MTSU poll. The poll also shows that the majority of participants support the legalization of marijuana in at least some capacity.
The poll included the answers of 600 registered Tennessee voters. The participants were contacted via randomly selected cell and landline phone numbers, and the interviews were conducted between March 22 and 29. The poll has an error margin of four percentage points.
On the issue of immigration, the poll reflected that 55 percent of Tennessee voters said illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay in the country and apply for citizenship. However, 33 percent said that those immigrants should leave.
These results are nearly identical to when an MTSU poll asked the same question in February 2017.
The poll also asked about Tennessee voters’ views on immigration in regards to Dreamers.
Dreamers is the term associated with children who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and were under the protection of the now contested Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy.
On Sept. 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be terminating the DACA program. Since then, there has been much contention surrounding the issue, and several federal courts have frozen the administration’s efforts to fully rescind the program. However, a concrete decision on the matter has not yet been made by Congress.
According to the new MTSU poll, it was found that 75 percent of Tennessee voters believe that immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship. Alternatively, 16 percent said that they should be required to leave.
It was stated in the poll results press release that the views on immigration “track closely” with opinions on President Donald Trump. The poll found that 51 percent of those who approve of the job Trump is doing as president said that illegal immigrants should be required to leave, while 74 percent of those who disapprove of the job Trump is doing say that the illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship.
This changes, however, when Trump supporters were asked about immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children. Sixty percent of Trump supporters say that Dreamers brought to the U.S. as children should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship.
On April 2, Trump tweeted that “DACA is dead,” blaming Democrats for failing to act on the issue.
DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon… No longer works. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
On marijuana legalization, the poll found that 81 percent of Tennessee voters said that the substance should be legalized to some degree. Only 37 percent, however, said that it should be legal for personal use. Forty-four percent said that it should only be legal for medicinal use, and 16 percent said that marijuana should remain entirely illegal.
A recent bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in Tennessee failed to advance out of the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee when it was withdrawn by its sponsor, Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson, on April 3.
The poll press release notes that “religious identification best explains differences of opinion on the marijuana issue.” Fifty-six percent of voters surveyed described themselves as “born-again” or “evangelical” Christians. Of this group, 51 percent said that marijuana should be legal for medicinal use only. Among those who were not born-again or evangelical Christians, 52 percent said that marijuana should be legal in Tennessee for personal use.
For more information and for previous poll results, visit here.
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