In a new Axios Vibes survey, 51% of Americans— including Democrats and Republicans— were keen to Trump's ideas of mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. AFP

NEW YORK CITY - Half of Americans say they'd support mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, a new Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll shows. Meanwhile, other studies show an increased worry among U.S. Latinos about the same possibility regardless of their legal status.

As Trump makes mass deportations a rallying cry during his re-election bid, Americans are growing more open to such ideas.

The survey sampled over 6,000 adults across the country from March to April of this year. It found that 51% of respondents were keen to them.

Looking at those that support mass deportations, white people make up the largest demographic, standing at 56%. Similarly, 45% of Latinos were also open to these ideas.

When it comes to political affiliation, 68% of affirmative respondents were Republican, while 42% were Democrat. These numbers come amid an increased anti-immigration rhetoric from both parties following an unprecedented influx of migrants over the past years.

But regardless of the current political climate, these numbers were not necessarily expected.

"I was surprised at the public support for large-scale deportations," said Mark Penn, chairman of The Harris Poll and a former pollster for President Clinton.

"I think they're just sending a message to politicians: 'Get this under control,'" he continued, calling it a warning to Biden that "efforts to shift responsibility for the issue to Trump are not going to work."

During his reelection campaign, Trump has pledged to carry out the "largest domestic deportation operation in American history" and remove the estimated 10.5 million undocumented people in the United States— two-thirds of whom have lived in the country for more than a decade.

Former President Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images.

"Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump's return to the Oval Office, he will restore all of his prior policies, implement brand new crackdowns that will send shockwaves to all the world's criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute" the deportation operation, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement to The Washington Post.

She added that undocumented immigrants "should not get comfortable because very soon they will be going home."

Americans typically aren't eager to deport immigrants who have put down roots in the U.S., Axios reports. But the recent poll suggests that the dynamic may be changing amid rising fears about crime and violence.

In fact, the study also polled respondents on their fears regarding immigration. When it comes to their greatest concerns, Americans most frequently cited increased crime rates, drugs and violence (21%); the additional costs to taxpayers (18%) and risk of terrorism and national security (17%).

These fears have also been exacerbated by Trump on numerous occasions, according to Axios, as he campaigns false claims of "migrant crime wave" and declaring that immigrants are "poisoning the blood of our country."

Regardless of these figures, Americans still strongly support immigration as long as it is lawful. Conversely, "illegal" immigration is what's giving people anxiety.

For instance, 58% of respondents said they support expanding legal pathways for orderly immigration, while 46% said asylum seekers should be protected if their cases are legitimate. Similarly, 68% said illegal immigration causes major problems in communities, while only 27% said the same about legal immigration.

This new study comes in contrast to another Axios poll that showed 52% of Latinos are worried that all Latinos will be targets of the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.

If Trump wins the election, it is yet unclear whether he could pull this plan off. At the same time, skepticism over these programs revolves around human costs, as it is presumed that his proposed measures could ripple across the nation, according to Axios.

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