Half of all Utahns say illegal immigrant families should be held together in detention until their status is legally determined, a new UtahPolicy.com poll conducted by Y2 Analytics says.
GOP President Donald Trump has been up and down the immigration scale in recent years, with some of his tough illegal immigrant stands taken to court, where he mostly lost.
It is now the policy that immigrant children should not be separated from their families long-term.
And that is what the Utah Political Trends survey found is the most acceptable alternative to Utah voters:
— “Hold families together in a detention facility” has 50 percent support.
— “Temporarily release families until a deportation court hearing” has 34 percent support.
— “Separate families and hold them in a detention facility” only has 8 percent support.
— And 6 percent don’t know.
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have made several statements on immigration in recent years, in addition to supporting the Utah Compact, a civic/religious stand by a number of Utah leaders.
Both entities stress that immigrant families should be kept together throughout the process of the legally determining whether the family can stay in the U.S., or must leave.
Among “very active” members of the LDS faith, 58 percent said families should be detained together; 29 percent said they should be temporarily released until their status hearing; 7 percent said they should be separated and detained; and 5 percent didn’t know.
Not surprisingly, strong Republicans and conservatives are more restrictive in their immigration ideas than are Democrats and liberals.
Two-thirds of strong Republicans said illegal immigrant families should be kept together and detained. Twenty-two percent said they should be separated and detained.
Three-fourths of strong Democrats said illegal families should be temporarily released until their hearings, with 23 percent saying families should be detained together.
Much of Trump’s immigration policy has been set by 33-year-old presidential advisor Stephen Miller, who was interviewed by the Washington Post just days ago about his role in the Trump White House.
It is safe to say Trump’s immigration policy, including building a billion-dollar wall on our southern border, will be key in his 2020 re-election strategy.
But Utahns, led by the Utah Compact and the LDS Church’s humane stands on illegal immigrants, may not fall in line with what the president and Miller have in mind.