Polls and opinions on sheltering children on our border

A number of reports on the ongoing question of children at the US border:

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reports:

A majority (69%) of Americans say that children arriving from Central America should be treated as refugees and allowed to stay in the U.S. if authorities determine it is not safe for them to return to their home countries. In contrast, 27% say that children arriving from Central America should be treated as illegal immigrants and deported back to their home countries….

When asked how the U.S. should respond, 7-in-10 (70%) Americans say the U.S. should offer shelter and support to children coming from Central America while beginning a process to determine whether they should be deported or allowed to stay. However, more than 1-in-4 (26%) Americans believe these children should be deported immediately back to their home country.

Cathy Lynn Grossman explores these numbers in a Religion News Service article.

Pew Research Center, in an article by Jens Manyel Krogstad and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, looks specifically at polls from Hispanics in the US:

The new survey also shows that Hispanics are more likely than U.S. adults overall to have heard about the influx of children from Central America. Some 94% of Hispanics said they had heard “a lot” or “a little” about the issue, compared with 89% of U.S. adults.

Like the general public, Hispanics — a diverse group that includes people with roots in more than 20 countries — give the president low marks on his handling of the surge of children. Some 46% of Hispanics disapprove and 34% approve of the president’s handling of the issue, while Americans overall disapprove of the president’s performance by a 56% to 28% margin.


While about two-thirds (68%) of the overall public support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country if they meet certain requirements, a significantly larger share (85%) of Hispanics holds that view.

Indeed, Hispanics put a premium on changes in deportation policy. By a 55% to 35% margin, Hispanics said it is more important for undocumented immigrants to get relief from deportation than it is to have a pathway to citizenship, according to a 2013 survey of Hispanic adults by the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project.

The Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) has a long list of resources on their website, under this description:

Episcopal Response to Unaccompanied Children at Our Border

Leaders in The Episcopal Church have spoken out, calling us to respond to the unaccompanied immigrant children at our border with compassion. We have compiled op-eds, statements, and other pieces issued by Episcopal bishops, clergy, and dioceses on this issue. We will continue to update this site as we receive developments. These resources are for your use and distribution, and please email us at eppn@episcopalchurch.org if we have omitted any resources or information.

Related to all of this, NPR carried a story on Nora Sandigo: the legal guardian of 817 American children of undocumented immigrants.

The recent increase in the number of unaccompanied, undocumented minors immigrating across the border has left tens of thousands of children waiting in limbo. But thousands of children who are already American citizens also face an uncertain future — because their parents are not in the country legally….

(Sandigo) receives no support from federal or state government; in addition to her own money, Sandigo draws on volunteers, donors and churches in the community to help care for the children.

“I’m aware that what I’m doing is just like a grain of sand. The problem is huge. It’s a problem that the federal government needs to fix. I can only do what I can do with my own human limitations. I’m just one person.”

Past Posts