US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures following his speech at a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, August 23, 2016. (AFP photo)
The immigration proposals of US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump are broadly rejected by Americans, a new poll finds, findings that come as Trump has shifted his tone on immigration in the face of falling opinion poll numbers.
The Pew Research Center poll released on Thursday found that 61 percent of those surveyed rejected one of Trump’s signature policies: building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Differences among racial and political groups remain stark. While 43 percent of whites say they are opposed to building a wall, 76 percent of blacks and Hispanics oppose the proposal.
Trump’s characterizations of undocumented immigrants were also decisively rejected in the poll.
The survey shows that 76 percent of American adults say that undocumented immigrants are as hard-working and honest as US citizens while 67 percent say they are no more likely than US citizens to commit serious crimes.
Overall, 71 percent of those surveyed said undocumented immigrants mostly fill jobs American citizens do not want.
Approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants were living in the US in 2014 and undocumented immigrants from Mexico made up the largest share of this population, according to government data.
Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversy from the beginning, including disparaging remarks about women, Mexican immigrants and Muslims.
Pew’s poll come as Trump shifted his tone on immigration this week, stating he may be open to “softening” laws to benefit the undocumented immigrants.
Trump had previously asserted that undocumented immigrants have “got to go” and said he would create a “deportation force” to do so.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said at his campaign kickoff speech in June 2015.
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we’re getting,” Trump said.

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