Survey: Americans Want Unaccompanied Child Migrants Sheltered Not Deported

Corbis

A shocking new survey revealed that the majority of Americans want unaccompanied child immigrants sheltered in our country -- not deported. 

A poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 69 percent of respondents believe that the migrant children should be treated as refugees and allowed to stay "if authorities determine it is not safe for them to return to their home country." About a quarter of respondents - 27 percent - disagreed, and said the minors should be treated "as illegal immigrants" and deported to their home countries. 

Of those polled, 56 percent said the families of children coming from Central America acted to keep the children safe from violence, while 38 percent said the families were "taking advantage of American good will."

The organization's findings divided at party lines. They found that the majority of Democrats (83%), independents (66%) and Republicans (52%) believe these children should be treated as refugees, but Republicans are far more divided on the issue. Forty-two percent of Republicans believe the children should be treated as "illegal immigrants." 

The organization also polled Americans by religion. Catholics supported refugee status at the highest rate (75%), followed by Minority Protestants (74%), White Mainline Protestants (67%) and White Evangelical Protestants (56%).

"There is broad consistency for a policy offering support for the unaccompanied children and a determination process, not just an open door," said Robert P. Jones, the chief executive of the research institute, according to The New York Times. "At the same time, there are concerns that policy may bring some negative consequences, and the situation has raised people's concerns about immigrants overall."

Read the full results at the Public Religion Research Institute. What are your thoughts? 

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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Editorial Assistant

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Cristina Mari Arreola earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to BrooklynNew York. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking...), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or baking her favorite sweets. You can follow her on Twitter at @c_arreola

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