Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Americans Strongly Support Protecting Essential Workers and Including Mixed-Status Families in COVID-19 Assistance, New Poll Shows
Press Release

RELEASE: Americans Strongly Support Protecting Essential Workers and Including Mixed-Status Families in COVID-19 Assistance, New Poll Shows

Washington, D.C. — Americans nationwide are rejecting the divisive, anti-immigrant actions of the Trump administration, particularly during the pandemic. They also broadly support progressive policies around immigration and COVID-19 relief, including extending protections to essential workers on the front lines of the response and allowing all those in mixed-status families who file taxes to access financial assistance. These are the main results of a new poll released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

This new survey of more than 1,000 registered voters was conducted nationwide between June 30 and July 5 by Hart Research Associates on behalf of CAP Action amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The polling shows a significant increase in support for immigrants and immigration, as well as a widespread recognition of the contributions immigrants are making while battling the pandemic. By wide margins, voters support granting legal status and a pathway to citizenship for essential workers in the fight against COVID-19. They also believe that U.S. citizens and those who file their taxes with a taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in mixed-status families should be able to access the same cash assistance that other Americans get, rather than be shut out of relief.

Key findings include:

  • 55 percent of voters disapprove of the job President Donald Trump is doing on immigration.
  • A 61 percent majority say that immigrants contribute a great deal or a fair amount to the nation’s efforts to combat COVID-19.
  • 55 percent now recognize the COVID-19 contributions of undocumented immigrants—a remarkable 16-point rise since April.
  • 63 percent of voters agree with providing benefits to citizens in mixed-status families, and 60 percent agree for undocumented immigrants who pay taxes.
    • Only 9 percent of voters agree with the status quo under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which bars anyone in a mixed-status family from receiving pandemic financial relief.
  • Voters overwhelmingly (73 percent support to only 22 percent oppose) support providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are essential workers confronting the coronavirus.
  • Voters overwhelmingly support reducing funding for detention and deportation and using those savings to fund domestic priorities such as education and infrastructure (+24 points) or public health investments to combat the coronavirus (+30 points).
    • Support for reducing funding for immigration enforcement and directing it to domestic priorities increases an additional 5 points when voters are told that the United States now spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement combined.

“Even as the coronavirus has forced Americans to stay socially distant, it has bound us together tightly and linked our fates,” says Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at CAP Action. “As the consensus grows that Donald Trump has failed the country at our time of greatest need, it is that unity that represents the greatest threat to his policy agenda. In passing a new coronavirus relief package, Congress must listen to the country and enact legislation that is inclusive and equitable.”

“These poll findings show how wrong Donald Trump and Stephen Miller were if they thought the fear of the coronavirus would make the public more receptive to their anti-immigrant policies,” says Geoff Garin, president at Hart Research Associates. “Voters have a growing appreciation of the important role that immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are playing in keeping the country going during the COVID-19 crisis, and the public want policies that treat immigrants humanely and fairly.”

Related resources:

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at [email protected].