Majority of voters say illegal immigrants should be either detained until trial or deported

A quarter of voters favor release and path toward amnesty.
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A metal fence marked with the US Border Patrol sign at the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona.
A metal fence marked with the US Border Patrol sign at the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona.
AFP via Getty Images

A majority of U.S. voters prefer that illegal immigrants met by federal immigration officials at the border either be detained prior to trial or deported to their come country, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

The poll was taken amid a renew debate over federal immigration policy as Democrat President Biden follows Republican President Trump – particular the return to the so-called "catch-and-release" process in which illegal immigrants are allowed to move more or less freely in the U.S. while awaiting trial before an immigration judge. 

Forty-four percent of poll respondents said illegal immigrants "should be arrested and deported," while 8% said they should be "held in a detention center pending a court hearing."

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Just the News Daily Poll
Just the News Daily Poll
(Just the News)

The Biden administration in recent weeks has been struggling to address a influx of illegal immigration at the southwest U.S. border, with thousands of immigrants being held for extended periods in federal facilities that have reportedly been packed beyond capacity due to the surge. More than 1,000 migrants reportedly arrived at the border last month, the highest monthly total since the 2019 surge.

The survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted by Rasmussen using a mixed-mode approach from March 25-27. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Click here to see the poll's cross-demographic tabulations.

Click here to see the poll's methodology and sample demographics.