David M Rothschild on Posted on

Trump voters are surprisingly compassionate towards immigrants currently in the United States, but surprisingly harsh towards the possibility of future immigration. Trump voters are open to a path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants that are employed without a criminal record. But, they are not only resistant to future Muslim immigration, and general immigration, but even to high skilled immigrants.

A surprisingly high 48 percent of Trump voters support a path to citizenship for: undocumented immigrants, who came as children, have a job, and no criminal record; just 33 percent want these Dreamers deported. The remainder support some path to keep working, but not citizenship. Clinton voters are 66 percent for citizenship and just 12 percent for deportation.

As similar group, many of the Dreamers parents, are undocumented immigrants, with jobs, no criminal records, and children who are US citizens. 45 percent of Trump voters want these immigrants to have a path for citizenship and 37 percent deportation. Clinton voters are 61 percent for citizenship and 14 percent for deportation.

Figure1a

Figure 1: “Trump voters are not as down on immigrants already in the country as might be expected.”

When it comes to the impact of immigrants overall, just 34 percent of voters think immigrants make the US cultural life stronger and just 27 percent think immigrants make the US job market stronger. But, crucially, only 19 percent of voter think immigrants make the cultural life weaker and 32 think they make the job market weaker. Most voters think the impact is neutral. Among Trump voters, only 20 percent think immigrants make cultural life stronger and 30 percent weaker. On the job market, 17 percent think immigrants make it stronger and 50 percent think weaker.

Figure2a

Figure 2: “Trump voters not so worried about immigrant culture, but think somewhat negative on job market.”

There is surprising hostility to new immigration: 83 percent of Trump voters support blocking the immigration of Muslims and 58 percent oppose increasing the flow of high skilled immigrants. The 83 percent is startling high, due to the obvious legal and logistical problems with blocking immigration by religion, beyond any larger impact of religious-based legislation. The lack of interest in high skilled immigration, puts the Trump supports at odds with much of the business community wing of the Republican Party.

Figure3a

Figure 3: “Trump voters are not just against Muslim immigration, but also highly skilled workers.”

Expectations run high among Trump voters that he will build the wall along the entire border with Mexico. While 77 percent of Clinton voters are skeptical the wall will be built, 38 percent of Trump voters think the wall will built and Mexico will pay for it, while another 22 percent think the wall will built and the US will pay for it. Of course, 75 percent of Clinton voters oppose the wall with 81 percent of Trump voters supporting the wall.

Figure4a

Figure 4: “Trump voters really expect him to build the wall and many think Mexico will pay for it.”

Tobias Konitzer is a PhD candidate in communication at Stanford University. Find him on Twitter @KonitzerTobias.

Sam Corbett-Davies is a PhD candidate at Stanford University in computer science. Find him on Twitter @scorbettdavies.

David Rothschild is an economist at Microsoft Research. Find him on Twitter @DavMicRot.