Immigration is the top problem in the country.
That’s what Americans believe, anyway, according to a new survey from Gallup, which shows that more people cite immigration as the top issue facing the nation than any other problem. 22% of Americans told the pollster that immigration should be the top priority in Washington, the highest number of people who have made that claim since Gallup began asking the question decades ago. Interestingly enough, there has been a significant jump in Democrats and Independents citing immigration as the top problem; in addition to 35% of Republicans naming it as the most important issue, 18% of Democrats and 17% of Independents say it is.
Of course, as Gallup points out, this doesn’t necessarily correlate to similar feelings across the divide.
“Partisan groups almost certainly have differing reasons for viewing immigration as the top problem currently,” Gallup writes. “Republicans are likely thinking of the underlying problem of illegal immigration per se and its impact on the nation’s economy and crime situation, while Democrats may be thinking more about the negative impact of the Trump administration’s policies and actions in cracking down on immigration.”
This sets the stage for another election in which the fight over illegal immigration could take center stage. And while the media will be firmly in the Democrats’ corner on this fight, telling us all about how any attempt to curb illegal immigration is racist and wrong and evil and all of that, the 2016 election already showed us what the American people really think about this issue. When it comes down to a choice between open borders, legalize-everyone zealots and Republicans who want to enforce the law, there really is no contest.
“If the general immigration focus continues through the fall, GOP candidates may be able to fire up the enthusiasm of the part of their base highly concerned about immigration and that in turn favors the Republican approach to this issue,” Gallup predicts.
This is bad news for Democrats, who have been fighting an uphill battle in their attempt to turn the “family separation crisis” into a winning issue. But while calls to “Abolish ICE” may resonate among a certain, extreme wing of the liberal base, it’s going to cost Democrats bigly outside of the coasts and the inner cities. For a party that should be doing everything possible to draw in a bigger tent of voters, it’s hard to imagine the Democrats making a more costly mistake than doubling down on their pro-illegal immigration propaganda.
But hey, who are we to tell them what to do?