It's no secret that President Trump's immigration policies are largely unpopular.
Two-thirds of Americans strongly support the Obama-era protections for young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers,” according to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, including three-quarters of Republicans.
And more than 4 in 10 Americans oppose using the National Guard to patrol the border with Mexico, according to the most recent Quinnipiac poll.
But the community that is the least supportive of one of the main tenets of Trump's immigration plan isn't Latinos; it's black Americans.
No ethnic group opposes the border wall more than black Americans, according to the Quinnipiac poll. Nearly 9 in 10 — 87 percent — of black voters oppose the wall, compared with 71 percent of Latino voters and 51 percent of white voters.
It's worth noting that some Americans who identify as black may also be Latino since Latino is an ethnicity, not a race. But it should be of no surprise to anyone following Trump's policies that most black Americans do not support his immigration policies.
When Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” in his campaign announcement speech, some of his harshest critics were black Americans. Former South Carolina lawmaker Bakari Sellers criticized the comments on CNN. Former MSNBC host Touré Neblett dismissed the claims.
A month after Trump's announcements, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote:
You have to see Trump’s statement for what it was: A naked attempt at Willie Horton-izing Mexican immigrants, and thereby the exploiting of the image, substantiated or not, of the brown-bodied predator destroying our country and taking the virtue of our women.
It provides language for people to hide their racism and nativism inside the more honorable shell of civility and chivalry. It allows Trump to tap into anger and call it adulation.
Those who support hard-line immigration policies, such as a border wall, have often argued that keeping undocumented immigrants from entering the country would also keep them from taking jobs from black Americans.
“It's a known fact that there are over 4 million unemployed Americans in the same age group as those that are DACA recipients; that over 950,000 of those are African Americans in the same age group; over 870,000 unemployed Hispanics in the same age group. Those are large groups of people that are unemployed that could possibly have those jobs,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in September.
But few black Americans seem to buy the suggestion, which The Post's Tracy Jan debunked after Sanders made the claim. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 70 percent of black Americans said they do not believe that undocumented immigrants take jobs away from Americans.
Their rejection of the idea that undocumented immigrants hurt the economy or are a public safety risk could explain their lack of support for Trump's border wall — and it isn't all that surprising.
Some black Americans feel that despite Trump's focus on immigration from Latin America, hundreds of thousands of immigrants from predominantly black countries are affected by his policy, as well. And because of this, some Latinos have called on the community to show support for issues affecting black Americans.
Author and columnist Raquel Reichard wrote in Latina magazine:
Our struggles, even for those of us who aren’t Afro-Latino, are linked; therefore, helping to dismantle the racist systems that incarcerate one in three black men can also put a crack in the structures that place Latino families in detention centers. ...
Black and brown people in the U.S. have always lived in the same neighborhoods, worshiped at the same churches, attended the same schools and frequented the same stores and restaurants. We are neighbors and allies in the class and race struggle.
There's been much focus on how Trump's immigration policies could influence Latino voters in future elections. But these new data points suggest that Trump's immigration policies probably aren't helping the GOP with black voters — a demographic that party officials said they've worked hard to try to win. Despite nearly 3 in 10 black Americans self-identifying as conservative, few groups reject the Republican Party's policies more than black people.