• Polling

Americans Split On Republican Governors Actions Sending Southern Border Asylum to Northern States

Friday, September 30, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
Download Full Report
Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Though Republicans are more trusted on immigration, Democrats have a narrower disadvantage when it comes to “asylum seekers” over “migrants.”
  • A narrow plurality of Americans say Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott were wrong to send asylum seekers who entered the U.S. through the southern border to northern states.
  • The best descriptor of this action is a “political stunt”; the best messaging calls the action “illegal human trafficking” as well as an example of Republican Governors manufacturing a crisis for other states to deal with while opposing meaningful immigration reform.

Americans Most Likely to Call Inflation and Gun Violence a “Major Crisis”; Republicans Driving Concerns on Immigration

Republicans are much more likely to consider “immigration at the southern border” a major crisis (69%) compared to Democrats (25%) and independents (39%). Majorities of Democrats also describe “abortion bans” (63%) and “climate change” (60%) as major crises.

Democrats Narrow The Gap on the Border When It’s Framed Around “Asylum Seekers”

Among independents, Biden and Democrats are at an 18-point trust disadvantage on “dealing with migrants at the border,” but at just a 10-point disadvantage on “dealing with asylum seekers at the border.”

  • Biden and Democrats are more trusted than the Republican Party on either frame by Hispanic Americans.

GOP Governors’ Sending of Asylum Seekers North Divides Americans on an Issue Where the GOP Typically Has an Edge

Only pluralities of white Americans (44%) and Republicans (67%) support the actions of Republican Governors sending asylum seekers who have entered the U.S. through the southern border to northern states.

Americans Call the Actions of Republican Governors Sending Migrants Seeking Asylum North a “Political Stunt”

More than half of Americans (58%) choose at least one negative phrase (“political stunt,” “sign of cruelty,” “racist”) to describe the actions of these Republican Governors while just 37% use a positive phrase – driven most of all by the 64% of Republicans who choose one.

Describing Sending Migrants North as Criminal & Manufactured Crisis Is Most Effective

Calling sending migrants to northern states “criminally fraudulent” and an example of illegal human trafficking, as well as saying Republican Governors are using migrants to manufacture a crisis while continuing to oppose actual immigration reform, is most effective overall.


About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 997 registered voters from September 22-September 26, 2022. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 87 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

Like the info here?

Get it directly in your inbox when new polls are released.

About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org