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Surprising poll shows most Californians — including Latinos — favor more deportations, travel ban

A new survey shows that most people in California think that there needs to be an increase in the number of deportations, but most also disapprove of the border wall. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images)

Most Californians support President Donald Trump’s travel ban and think that deportations of illegal immigrants should actually increase, according to a survey by the UC Berkley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

The survey also said that 53 percent of Latinos supported more deportations.

What is the survey about?

The “California Survey on Othering and Belonging: Views on Identity, Race and Politics” polled 2,400 Californian adults, with questions posed in Spanish and English.

According to the Haas Institute, “The poll ... revealed that Californians have views that may seem contradictory, including the fact that nearly half those surveyed support a so-called 'Muslim ban'. Punishing immigrants is still popular: 59% said increasing deportations is important.”

However, these results do not show that Californians have conservative views on immigration. Rather, they show a more nuanced approach, which the Institute says “may seem contradictory.”

For example, 67 percent of those polled “think undocumented immigrants should be able to purchase health insurance on the California state exchange.” In addition, 66 percent “reject the idea that the U.S.-Mexico border wall is an important immigration policy priority," and 71 percent "think that establishing a pathway to citizenship is somewhat or very important."

Why was the poll's author surprised?

KPIX-TV reported that the survey's author, Gerald Lenoir, was surprised at the findings his own survey produced.

Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff told KPIX that this data could indicate that more people in California silently approve of at least some of the White House's immigration positions.

"They might be embarrassed because they hold a position that might be closer to the gentleman who is sitting in the White House and he is not well liked around here," Mitchoff said.

Besides immigration, the survey looked at a variety of issues including attitudes toward labor unions, the economy, taxation, income inequality, and government involvement.

The Haas Institute promised that this is only the “first in a series of research briefs” that it will publish on the results of the survey. “Future briefs will compare regions within the state and examine the responses of sub-populations such as young adults and unregistered voters," according to the Haas Institute.

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