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A majority of registered voters oppose the payments of up to $450,000 the government is reportedly considering to compensate family members separated at the southern border under former President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy for entering the U.S. illegally.
That’s according to the latest Fox News Poll released Friday.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in late October that the Justice Department, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering the payments in response to lawsuits brought by civil rights groups on behalf of the roughly 5,500 parents and children who say they have psychological trauma from the separations, some of which lasted for an extended period.
As of this writing, no settlements have been made and the details surrounding the amount of the potential payouts are still being determined.
Nearly a third of voters favor the $450,000 payout (30 percent).
But more than 6-in-10 oppose it, including 49 percent who are against giving separated families any compensation at all and another 12 percent who say it should be a lesser amount.
While 54 percent of Black voters favor the plan, 66 percent of White voters oppose the payments either outright (55 percent) or oppose but think families should at least receive some money (11 percent).
Hispanic voters split: 48 percent favor vs. 44 percent fully oppose or oppose but open to some compensation.
Democrats (52 percent) are 5 times more likely than Republicans (10 percent) to favor the disbursements.
Those most likely to oppose any amount of compensation include Republicans (76 percent), White men without a college degree (63 percent), voters ages 65 and over (60 percent), and voters living in the South (53 percent) and suburban areas of the country (55 percent).
President Biden seemingly rejected the idea of government payments in early November saying, “That’s not going to happen.” He later backpedaled saying, “You lost your child. It’s gone – you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance,” although he never proposed a specific amount.
Fifty-five percent feel the Biden administration has not been tough enough in its treatment of illegal immigrants. Over a quarter of Democrats (27 percent) join a large majority of Republicans (84 percent) and half of independents (50 percent) in agreeing the administration should be tougher.
All that makes immigration one of Biden’s worst issues: 31 percent approve vs. 59 percent disapprove – that’s a 10-point drop from his high of 41 percent approval six months ago (June 2021). Approval among Democrats is down 15 points since June: 72 percent vs. 57 percent today.
Among all voters, the president’s marks are only lower on China (28 percent approve-55 percent disapprove) and Afghanistan (27-63 percent). He’s also underwater on climate change (42-47 percent), uniting the country (36-56 percent), and the economy (36-58 percent). He does best on handling the coronavirus pandemic, where he almost breaks even (48 percent approve-49 percent disapprove).
Biden’s overall job rating is at a record low: 44 percent approve vs. 54 percent disapprove.
When asked to name the most important issue facing the country, voters put immigration/border security in fourth (8 percent). It trails the economy (26 percent), coronavirus (17 percent), and inflation/supply chain (10 percent). Political division (7 percent), Biden/poor leadership and climate change (6 percent apiece) follow closely behind.
Partisanship affects perceived problems. The economy tops the list for Republicans, followed by inflation and immigration/border security. Among Democrats, immigration barely makes it into the top ten, as they put coronavirus first, followed by the economy and climate change.
Conducted November 14-17, 2021 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,003 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.