Posted on April 25, 2024

America Warms to Mass Deportations

Margaret Talev and Russell Contreras, Axios, April 25, 2024

Half of Americans — including 42% of Democrats — say they’d support mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, according to a new Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

  • And 30% of Democrats — as well as 46% of Republicans — now say they’d end birthright citizenship, something guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Why it matters: Americans are open to former President Trump’s harshest immigration plans, spurred on by a record surge of illegal border crossings and a relentless messaging war waged by Republicans.

  • President Biden is keenly aware the crisis threatens his re-election. He’s sought to flip the script by accusing Trump of sabotaging Congress’ most conservative bipartisan immigration bill in decades.
  • But when it comes to blame, Biden so far has failed to shift the narrative: 32% of respondents say his administration is “most responsible” for the crisis, outranking any other political or structural factor.

Axios Vibe Check: Amid a record number of border crossings, nearly two-thirds of Americans said illegal immigration is a real crisis, not a politically driven media narrative.


When asked to identify their greatest concern around illegal immigration, Americans most frequently cited:

  1. Increased crime rates, drugs, and violence (21%).
  2. The additional costs to taxpayers (18%).
  3. Risk of terrorism and national security (17%).


The big picture: The survey still found Americans strongly support immigration as long as it is lawful. “Illegal” immigration is what’s giving people anxiety.

  • 58% said they support expanding legal pathways for orderly immigration, while 46% said asylum seekers should be protected if their cases are legitimate.
  • 68% said illegal immigration causes major problems in communities, while only 27% said the same about legal immigration.
  • And 65% of Americans think the U.S. should make it easier for anyone seeking a better life to enter legally so they don’t need to enter illegally.