Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has staked his campaign on pungent and feisty rhetoric on undocumented immigrants, reiterated calls for erecting a massive barrier along the border with Mexico.
As it turns out, 41 percent of Americans believe that if a wall is to be built on the Mexican border, it's only fair that one should be constructed up north as well. At least that's what a Bloomberg Politics poll released this week indicates.
"If you cut off one, they're going to come in the other way," said Trump supporter Jake Crosan, a 73-year-old retired truck driver from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
But not everyone in the US agrees with such an unfriendly policy, and the poll shows it: 80 percent of those questioned think the American economy has traditionally prospered due to new arrivals, while 70 percent approved of the efforts of Pope Francis to support a more welcoming approach towards immigrants.
"As a son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families," the pontiff told a crowd at the White House soon after he arrived in the US on Tuesday.
The poll surveyed 1,001 American adults, and served to remind that immigration is a highly controversial issue that divides the US public. On one hand, 47 percent of respondents support issuing visas granting permanent residency to foreign-born students educated in the US, so that they can stay and work after graduation. On the other, 54 percent agree that "Immigration is a national security concern, so legal and illegal immigration should be decreased." Three quarters of respondents — 75 percent — backed a proposal to require businesses to verify the immigration status of new employees.