Two-thirds of voters in Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo's congressional district are opposed to a newly enforced Trump administration policy that separates parents from their children when they cross the border illegally, according to a new poll commissioned by Equity Forward and conducted by the left-leaning polling firm Global Strategy Group.
Voters in Curbelo's Miami-to-Key West district opposed the new "zero tolerance" policy 64 percent to 27 percent, with 8 percent who didn't take a position. The majority of voters, 81 percent, said they had heard about the recent policy announcement that has led children to be held in empty big-box stores as they cry for their parents. "
"Congressman Curbelo’s constituents are deeply opposed to the Trump “zero tolerance” policy that has separated over 2,300 children from their parents in just six weeks and Curbelo faces a
major backlash from constituents if he refuses to act to stop the separations," the polling firm said in a release. "Voters–including a significant number of Republicans and Trump supporters–strongly support Congressional action to stop this new policy and to increase the accountability and transparency of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)–an Office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which is charged with caring for the children detained as a result of this unprecedented policy."
Curbelo has said he does not support the policy, and is attempting to address the issue in an all-GOP immigration compromise bill that could receive a vote in the House of Representatives this week. Curbelo called the separation policy "a tragedy" on Twitter over the weekend, and referenced former President Barack Obama's policy of detaining families and unaccompanied minors.
"While some tolerated it when it happened under the previous administration, I found it unacceptable then & I find it unacceptable now," Curbelo tweeted. "We’re crafting legislation to remedy this sad situation."
Curbelo's likely Democratic opponent, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, also condemned the Trump administration's decision.
"This is truly heartbreaking. We need action now," Mucarsel-Powell tweeted. "This inhumane and cruel practice against innocent children cannot continue."
The race between Curbelo and Mucarsel-Powell will be closely watched this year by both national parties, and will likely see both candidates raise and spend millions in an attempt to control the House of Representatives. Curbelo represents a district that voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump by 16 percentage points, the largest margin of victory for Clinton in a congressional district held by a Republican running for reelection in 2018.
The Global Strategy Group polled 402 likely general election voters in Curbelo's district from June 12 to 17. The survey has a margin of error 4.9 percentage points. The poll used landlines and cellphones, and was conducted in English and Spanish.