Majority of Americans Say the Trump Administration Is Doing a 'Bad Job' at the Border: Survey

The majority of Americans believe the federal government is doing a "bad job" at handling the influx of asylum seekers arriving at the border, new survey data has found. People in the U.S. are also divided along partisan lines on how the government could improve on its approach to the country's current immigration policies.

This is according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center of 4,175 people between July 22 to August 4.

The data revealed that 65 percent of Americans surveyed said they feel the federal government is doing either a "very bad" (38 percent) or "somewhat bad" (27 percent) job at dealing with the rise in the number of people arriving at the U.S. southern border in recent months. Just 27 percent said they feel the government is doing a "somewhat good" job, with 6 percent saying "very good."

When it came to addressing how the government could improve on its response to the influx of arrivals at the border, Americans were divided on where the federal government's priorities should lie.

"In assessing the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, the public views several goals as important," the Pew Research Center says in its report. "But more people give priority to addressing the backlog of asylum cases and improving conditions for asylum seekers than to making it harder—or easier—for asylum seekers to be granted legal status."

"Overall, 86 percent [of Americans said] it is either very (52 percent) or somewhat (34 percent) important to boost the number of judges tasked with deciding on asylum cases," Pew Research Center wrote.

Meanwhile, 82 percent said they feel it is important for the government to ensure that it is providing safe and sanitary conditions for asylum seekers being held at the border, including 52 percent who stressed that this was "very important" to them.

On the issue of reducing the number of asylum seekers coming to the U.S., 74 percent of respondents said it was "at least somewhat important," while 69 percent said it was important to provide more assistance to Central American nations such as the Northern Triangle countries—Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador—where many asylum seekers are coming from.

'Partisans' priorities'

As might be expected, researchers found some sharp differences between how Republican and Democratic respondents polled on questions in the survey. However, researchers also noted that "there are some areas of general agreement."

"For instance, majorities of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (89 percent) and Republicans and Republican leaners (83 percent) say it is important to increase the number of judges handling asylum cases," they wrote. "However, a larger share of Democrats (58 percent) than Republicans (45 percent) rate this as very important."

When it came to the question of ensuring "safe and sanitary" conditions for asylum seekers at the border, overall majorities in each party said it is at least "somewhat important" that asylum seekers be provided adequate conditions when they arrive in the U.S., with 91 percent of Democrats agreeing and 73 percent of Republicans. However, Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to identify the issue as "very important" (71 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans.)

"By contrast, while majorities in both parties say it is important to reduce the number of people coming to the U.S. to seek asylum, 65 percent of Republicans say this is very important, compared with just 24 percent of Democrats," the report said.

Partisans also adopted opposing stances on how difficult the process for gaining legal status in the U.S. should be for asylum seekers, with most (77 percent) Republicans saying it is important to make it harder for asylum seekers to be granted legal status, compared to 32 percent of Democrats who shared that view.

"Most Democrats (79 percent) say it is important to make it easier for asylum seekers to be granted legal status; a much smaller share of Republicans (37 percent) say the same," the study said.

President Trump Departs White House En Route To Dayton, Ohio And El Paso, Texas
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press before departing from the White House en route to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas on August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson/Getty