On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, PRRI released our latest survey on unaccompanied children entering the United States from Central America, which finds that 69 percent of Americans view unaccompanied children at the border as refugees not illegal immigrants and 7-in-10 Americans prefer offering children support while cases are reviewed over immediate deportation. As a result, PRRI garnered extensive media coverage this week. Some of the stories include:
The New York Times’ Julia Preston spoke with PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones for her story, which quotes Dr. Jones as saying, “There is broad consistency for a policy offering support for the unaccompanied children and a determination process, not just an open door […] At the same time, there are concerns that policy may bring some negative consequences, and the situation has raised people’s concerns about immigrants over all.”
Emma Green at The Atlantic draws the conclusion that Americans view children at the border “sympathetically” because PRRI’s poll shows 69 percent of the population say the children from Central America should be treated as refugees and allowed to stay in the U.S. if it is unsafe to return to their home countries.
Time Magazine cited the poll and highlighted data showing bipartisan majorities reject immediate deportation.
Over at Newsweek, Karla Zabludovsky mentions that of those surveyed, 71 percent say children from Central America awaiting for their cases to be processed should be released to the care of relatives or churches.
U.S. News & World Report notes that poll results showing that 4-in-10 Republicans believe the children should be immediately deported fall in line with political rhetoric.
Cathy Lynn Grossman’s article posted on Religion News Service, which mentions how the value of keeping families together cuts across all party lines, was also picked up by the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.
The Washington Post blog The Fix juxtaposes Americans’ support for the kids coming to the U.S. from Central America with an overall decline in Americans’ positive attitudes toward immigrants in the country illegally.
Politico summed up PRRI’s findings with a succinct headline, “Let border kids stay.”