Bad news for anyone who thought the kidnapping of children from their families as retribution for the horrific crime of crossing the border might be enough to finally turn the majority of Republicans against Trump: it is not.
The Daily Beast and Ipsos ran a poll on June 14 and 15 with 1,000 respondents, which included 335 Republicans as well as 339 Democrats and 204 independents and asked respondents whether or not they agreed that separating parents from their children is appropriate. According to the poll, 46 percent of the Republicans asked said it was appropriate, while just 32 percent disapproved. (14 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents approved of it, which still seems like too much!)
This should not shock anyone. The Republican Party has for years welcomed immigration hawks with open arms, and the president won the Republican party’s primary on an anti-immigration platform. Since Trump became president, the party has lurched even further to the right. White supremacists are running for the Congress, other white supremacists are running for Senate, and Steve King now tweets like he’s running for a seat in the Hungarian parliament as a member of the Party for Racism and Legalized Knife Fights in Football Stadiums.
Furthermore, most of the elected Republicans who claim to oppose this openly nativist turn on immigration have learned the lesson of Marco Rubio and chosen to do absolutely fuck all to stop it. It took until this weekend for Jeff Flake and Susan Collins to send a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking if the administration was really separating immigrant children from their asylum-seeking parents at the border, and Collins quickly had to clarify that she would oppose a bill that would stop that from happening.
If there even is a pro-humane immigration wing of the Republican Party in 2018, it’s about as popular with your average Republican voter as a flat tire. It has both the nativists and their own feckless, irrelevant response to the nativists to thank for that.