Immigration and Trump Supporters: Amnesty is the Red Line

Trump supporters are closely tracking the immigration debate and trust him to follow-through with campaign promises, but will not support him if he pursues a deal that includes Amnesty. 

“Trump supporters have not waned in their confidence that the President will follow-through on his campaign promises, and now we have insight into why they feel immigration is so important. A great part of their motivation is shown to be a concern over security of our nation and fitting in with the American culture, not solely self-sufficiency"  --Anne Sorock, Executive Director of Ear to the Ground

In advance of the State of the Union address, Trump supporters surveyed over the past two weeks say they are closely following the debate and believe the president will not back down on his campaign promises regarding immigration reform.

The new data from the Ear to the Ground Listening Project, a collaboration of academics, market researchers, and policy experts, is based on the results of a panel survey of 6,883 Trump supporters:

Will you support President Trump if he signs an immigration reform bill that includes a form of Amnesty?

  • 84% said they are following immigration news “very closely"

  •  87% approve of President Trump’s  handling of immigration reform

  • When asked if they would support President Trump if he signs an immigration reform bill that includes a form of amnesty, only 3% said “definitely yes,” 13% said “probably yes,” 36% said “might or might not, 26% said “probably not,” and 22% said “definitely not.”

  • 16% of current President Trump supporters approve of the way Republicans in Congress are handling immigration (and 49% disapprove)

  • 66% of President Trump supporters identify as Republican, 30% as Independent, and 4% as Other

Trump supporters remain extremely confident that he will keep his promiseS. 

  • 27% are “extremely confident” President Trump will follow-through on his campaign promises regarding immigration, and 44% are “very confident”; and 24% are moderately confident.

  • Regarding campaign promises on a Wall in particular, 41% are “extremely confident” he will follow-through on the promise, 37% are “very confident,” and 18% are moderately confident.

Confidence that Trump Will Keep immigration Campaign Promises


Trump supporters prioritize a Border Wall over issues over Amnesty or E-Verify, and felt it is most important to focus on security and a cultural fit. 

  • 71% said it was “extremely” or “very important” to eliminate DACA as part of immigration reform efforts

  • If Congress passed immigration reform that removed DACA but incorporated a form of Amnesty, 62% would not support it, 7% would, and 32% are unsure if they would or would not.

  • Top 5 Immigration Topics, in order of preference, are: Border Wall (1), Chain Migration (2), E-Verify / Employment Verification (3), DACA (4), and Amnesty (5)

  • Given a choice of 5 immigration-reform philosophies, the most popular was to “keep out people likely to present a danger to American citizens” (41%), then “admit people only who are compatible with our culture and way of life” (28%), and “protect Americans’ jobs” (17%)