In the city of Warren Mich., a known swing state in the 2020 presidential election, President Trump's stances on immigration edged out his opponents calls for open borders. As reported by Axios, the majority of a group of 12 swing voters said that they think President Trump is handling the immigration crisis "professionally and reasonably." By all accounts, immigration is and will be one of the most important issues of the 2020 presidential election - and it could help Trump win over even some voters who haven't always supported Republicans.
In a recent focus group created by Engagious/FPG focus groups, a sample of nine people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016, and three who flipped from Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton were asked how they viewed the President's tactics on immigration, to which a majority sided with the President. Warren Mich. is a small blue area in a red county. It narrowly went for Clinton in the 2016 election, while the county it resides in, Macomb County, went solidly for Donald Trump.
According to a Washinton Post-ABC poll conducted June 28-July 1; President Trump's immigration policies are approved by 40% of Americans, while 57% disapprove of his handling of immigration. At the same time, 75% of Americans agree there is a crisis at the border, according to a CNN poll conducted last month, as reported by Axios.
Throughout the focus group, immigration came up many times as swing voters were asked to discuss their top issue heading into the presidential election. Their responses, according to [i]Axios[i], sounded a lot like the "America First" message President Trump has been championing. According to the reporter, the room got most animated when discussing their opposition to 2020 Democrats proposing to give free tax-payer funded healthcare to illegal immigrants. One of the swing voters stated: "Why would you give it to another person from a different country for free? Another chimed in: "Give them free benefits, this that and the other thing. That is ridiculous, they'll come from anywhere and get a house and a car, too."
Here is what others said:
"We need to focus on Americans and not the immigrants," said Paul T.
"We shouldn’t give away our birthright like candy," said Shawn M. "Meaning that all they have to do is cross the border illegally, pop out a kid, and they’re a U.S. citizen. Two illegals do not a citizen make," she added.
"I don’t want to be a jerk," said Rhonda H. "I feel terrible for these people, but there are people in this country who are struggling to survive. We need to focus on the United States."
Others mentioned veterans or homeless people in the U.S. who they thought should be prioritized over immigrants. "Veterans ... need more help. So that kind of, that doesn't make me happy that they really haven't done more" for them, said Kathleen R.
A few others bemoaned the "endless supply" of migrants who make their way to the U.S. "There’s no end in sight," said Patricia B., a Romney-Clinton voter. "It’s just a frustrating, endless amount of people."
Larry S., an Obama-Trump voter, said he's noticed an increase in "foreigners" among Michigan's population. "We’re helping everybody else, so they’re coming here for free and we're babying them," he said. "It’s time that we stop. We gotta think about us first."
Even those who disagree with the president's way of handling it found agreement. "His stance on immigration is a little too far for me, but I tend to agree with it," said Anthony O. "His grandparents came from Italy 'the right way,' so to see people not following the rules … I have a problem with that."
Eight out of the twelve participants, including one Romney-Clinton voter, agreed with the statement: "When we give migrants food, clothing, toiletries, and shelter, all we’re doing is encouraging more of them to come to the U.S., and we don’t want that."
For more on this story, please visit Axios.
Updated: Mon, Jul 29th 2019 @ 3:40pm EDT