Posts tagged with "Immigration"

America will run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump shuts southern border

April 3, 2019

President Donald Trump’s has threatened again this week to close the U.S.-Mexico border, continuing his all-out effort to coerce the political leaders of both nations to block South American immigrants from coming across.

However, even a brief shutdown at America’s southern border would strain the economies of both nations by disrupting billions of dollars in trade, about $137 billion of which is in food imports.

Nearly 50% of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40% of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

From avocado toast to margaritas, American shoppers—who are heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables, and alcohol—quickly would become bereft.

Indeed, the stoppage quickly would become “hard to swallow” for U.S. residents—especially those who love avocados, according to a report by Reuters. Those of us north of the border would run out of avocados in three weeks, if imports from Mexico were cut off, according to  Steve Barnard, CEO of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100% of the avocados in the United Stated right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” Barnard said in an interview with Reuters.

In addition to avocados, the majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries, and raspberries come from Mexico. While there are other sources of produce globally, opening those trade channels would take time.

And shortages of fruit and vegetables will rack up the already-soaring prices at the cash register.

On the other side of the border, Mexico is the largest importer of U.S. exports of refined fuels like diesel and gasoline, some of which moves by rail. It is unclear if rail terminals would be affected by closures.

Research contact: @Reuters

Trump alleges ‘criminals and unknown Middle Easterners’ are in migrant caravan

October 23, 2018

Blaming “our pathetic immigration laws,”—for which he claims Americans should “blame the Democrats”—President Donald Trump sent out a cluster of tweets early on October 22 saying that a caravan of migrants making their way toward the United States included “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.”

It’s a familiar theme: At a political rally on October 19 in Mesa, Arizona covered by The New York Times, the POTUS alleged that some of the people seeking asylum in the United States from violence and bad conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras included “bad people,” “criminals,” “not little angels,” and “tough, tough people.” He did not mention Middle Easterners.

In attacking Democrats, Trump mischaracterized his political opponents as pushing for “open borders.”

“Democrats believe our country should be a giant sanctuary city for criminal aliens,” he claimed, according to the Times report.

The president also has alleged without evidence, that the Democrats actually funded the caravan of migrants heading to the United States, the news outlet said—however, there is no proof of that, the Times said.

In reaction to the caravan, Trump has threatened to use U.S. military forces at the border—and to begin separating migrant families again. He also has warned that, if the migrants are not stopped soon, he will cut off foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The White House on Monday did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Research contact: @ESCochrane

Voter concerns could sweep GOP out at midterms in ‘blue tsunami’

April 9, 2018

At a press conference on April 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he feared the Republicans would be swept by the Democrats in the midterms—noting, “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4, or 5,” according to a report by The Washington Times.

He just might be right: Heading into the midterm elections, American voters say they are more focused on healthcare than on any other political point of contention, based on findings of a HuffPost/YouGov poll released on April 6. And a vote for better healthcare, even the GOP concedes, would be a vote for the Democrats.

Asked to select their top two issues from a list in the recently conducted poll, 30% of 872 registered voters picked healthcare as most important.

The researchers reported that “an unusual trio of issues tied for second place,”with each named by about 25% of voters as a top priority—the economy, which perpetually ranks as a top campaign topic; but also gun policies, which rarely garner that level of attention; and immigration, a mainstay of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

With the caveat that, this far ahead of the election, there’s still plenty of time for campaign narratives to develop and change, if healthcare does play a prominent role , it would give an advantage to Democrats.

Healthcare, which, the researchers note, “likely contributed to Democrats’ midterm shellacking in 2010,” is now an issue they feel free to embrace. For the first election cycle since its passage, a majority of the public now approves of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and Democrats enjoy a sizable advantage over the GOP on handling related issues

The poll also suggests that gun issues, which have long ranked low on Americans’ priority lists, are continuing to draw heightened attention in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, especially among proponents of gun control.

By contrast, the economy — one of the relatively few bright spots for the GOP—remains a top issue, but isn’t overwhelmingly at the front of public opinion the way it was in past elections. And tax reform, which Republicans had hoped would serve as a midterm asset, has stalled out in popularity and doesn’t appear to be at the top of voters’ minds.

The survey also looked at which issues each party is perceived as focusing mostly on. In the case of the Democratic Party, that’s guns, followed by Trump’s record. In the case of the GOP, it’s taxes, immigration, and the economy.

Nearly 70% of voters say they are somewhat closely following news about the midterms and 30% say that they’re paying very close attention. Forty percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, but just 23%t of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, say they’re already paying very close attention.

Research contact: @aedwardslevy

Voters don’t give Trump a pass on gun control, healthcare, or Dreamers

March 21, 2018

Americans are paying close attention to several policy areas—among them, immigration, healthcare, gun violence and North Korea—in which they think President Donald Trump has taken the wrong approach, based on findings of a George Washington University Battleground Poll released on March 12.

Specifically, the poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters nationwide found that a majority are worried about the POTUS’s handling of immigration (42% approve, 56% disapprove), healthcare (38%/56%), gun violence (39%/55%) and North Korea (41%/53%). 

Chief among the areas of concern is gun control. When asked how closely they’ve been following a given topic, almost all respondents said they were “closely” (72%) or “somewhat closely” (22%) following the aftermath of the premeditated mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a month ago.

On the Russia investigation, a slightly large number of respondents now believe that “members of the Trump campaign committed crimes and actively assisted Russia’s efforts”—up  to 39% from 31% in the previous edition of the GW Battleground Poll in August 2017. However, voters were split over how much the issue will matter to them when they enter their polling places next November: 41% said it was” not at all important” in the context of their 2018 voting decisions. About the same amount said it was “extremely important” (27%) or “very important” (13%) important to them. More Independents said it was “extremely important” (28%) or “very important” (12%) than “not important at all” (36%).

“The composition of the poll’s respondent universe reminds us that, even as issues rise and fall swiftly in the news these days, the electorate remains heavily skewed toward middle-aged and older voters,” said Michael Cornfield, associate professor of Political Management and research director of the GW Center for Political Management. “Candidate positions on issues that matter greatly to young people, starting with the heavily followed Parkland shooting story that stars high school activists, could be significant in enlarging the traditionally small voter pool for the midterm elections.”

Moving to the economy—a marginally brighter spot in the public’s perception—opinions still were split. The poll found that about half (52%) of likely voters approved of the approach that the president has taken with respect to jobs, with 41% disapproving. The split was similar for his handling of the overall economy (51% approve, 45% disapprove).

Voters are conflicted about the state of the American dream. Almost three-quarters (72%) think that they will be financially better off in five years, but only one-third (37%) believe that the next generation will be better off economically.

Looking ahead to this year’s congressional elections, the GW Battleground Poll found a slight shift in voters’ attitudes toward the candidates. Presented with a generic ballot, 49% of voters chose a Democrat and 40% chose a Republican. In the previous edition of the GW Battleground Poll, those figures were 44% and 38%, respectively. Undecided voters decreased to 12% from 1%.

Democrats also appeared more enthusiastic than did Republicans ahead of the midterm elections. Among voters who say they are “extremely likely” to vote in the upcoming midterms, 51% prefer Democrats, while 39% prefer Republicans. Among voters who say they are “very likely” to vote, Democrats enjoy a 10-point advantage (48% to 38%).

The George Washington University Battleground Poll is a series of surveys conducted by Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. GW’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) serve as the university’s home for the partnership.

Research contact: jshevrin@gwu.edu

90% of Americans support DACA; most oppose border wall

January 19, 2018

Nearly 90% of Americans favor allowing young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children to remain here—a federal policy established under President Barack Obama and known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is a view that spans partisan lines, based on results of a survey of 1,225 adults nationwide released on January 18 by CBS News. .

However, the sticking point—one that may lead to a government shutdown as soon as tonight—is the demand of President Donald Trump for financing for the wall he campaigned on, which he believes would stop illegal immigration into the United States from Mexico and other Latin American nations.

Americans remain divided over which issue is worth risking a shutdown of the federal government, the CBS poll has found: Democrats support DACA; Republicans support a wall on the southern border:

  • Most Americans continue to oppose building a border wall, however, 70% of Republicans support it—and 51% of GOP supporters think it worth risking a government shutdown to get it.
  • More than half of Democrats (57%) say it’s worth shutting down the government to have young illegal immigrants stay in-country.

If the wall is ultimately built, 85% of Americans (including majorities across party lines) think that the United States would foot the bill; not Mexico. Most Democrats and Independents are bothered by the possibility of the United States. paying for the wall, but Republicans, two-thirds of whom favor the wall, are not.

On a related issue, CBS News reports, 75% of Americans find the remarks President Trump reportedly made about immigration from Haiti and African countries unacceptable for a President to make, but fewer, 52%, say they are personally bothered by them. Seventy-two percent of Republicans say they are not personally bothered.

Asked which criteria the U.S. should use to admit immigrants, slightly more Americans (47%) prefer that priority be given to people based on their education, job skills, and work experience than people with family members already living here (39%).

Research contact: @Fred Backus