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Poll: Vast majority of Americans don't want to deport Dreamers

A recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 1 in 5 Americans want to see Dreamers deported. Moreover, 60 percent of the nation favors allowing Dreamers to remain in the country legally.

Dreamers are people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. They are considered unauthorized immigrants but this is through no fault of their own.

The Obama administration created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which shielded about 800,000 Dreamers from deportation and gave them authorization to work or go to school. In order to qualify, they had to meet eligibility requirements including having a clean criminal record. President Trump announced last month that the DACA program will be phased out. He has given Congress six months to craft a solution.

According to the poll, only 22 percent of Americans are opposed to allowing Dreamers to stay in the country with some form of legal status. Only 19 percent favored deporting them.

"For the ones who are already here, there should be a way for them to stay because it wasn't their fault," said one man. "But you have to give them a path to citizenship."

Even those with hard-line views on other immigration topics generally favor allowing Dreamers to remain legally. For example, 38 percent of those who want a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border also favor the Dreamers remaining.

"What you see is growing support within the voters overall in giving Dreamers a path to citizenship," said one immigration advocate. "Giving Dreamers the ability to earn citizenship is the most popular bipartisan, not just immigration, issue, the single most united issue in the country."

Poll also considered Americans' views on the border wall, travel restrictions

The AP-NORC poll was conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2 and surveyed a group considered representative of the American public. Among other issues covered, the poll found the following results:

  • Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: 49 percent opposed, 32 percent in favor
  • Latest travel ban (restrictions against travel from Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela): 44 percent in favor, 37 percent opposed

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