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Poll: Most Oppose Trump's Pardon for Ex-Sheriff Arpaio, Booting 'Dreamers'

More than half of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s decision to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, according to a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.
Image: Donald Trump is joined onstage by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined onstage by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (L) at a campaign rally in Marshalltown, Iowa Jan. 26, 2016, after Arpaio endorsed Trump's candidacy.Brian Snyder / Reuters

More than half of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, while nearly two-thirds said they support a program allowing "Dreamers" to stay in the U.S., which Trump is expected to end, according to a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

Six in 10 said they felt it was "wrong" for Trump to pardon Arpaio, who was convicted last month of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order not to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they felt Trump’s pardon was "the right thing" to do.

Trump granted the former Maricopa County sheriff a pardon on Friday night, prompting fierce criticism from civil rights groups and lawmakers, including the ACLU and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who charged the action essentially represented an endorsement of racism against Latinos and undermined the president's stated belief in the rule of law.

The poll also found that 64 percent of Americans support DACA, the Obama-era program allowing young people — known as "Dreamers" — who came to the U.S. illegally as children to remain here. Some also came legally but their visas expired.

Several government officials said Trump is likely to end the program, possibly by letting it expire over time, NBC News reported Friday.

One senior Homeland Security official, however, told NBC News that the question over how Trump will handle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was still in flux, with immigration hardliners within the administration insisting that it end immediately and more moderate members calling for a phased approach.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll, meanwhile, found that 30 percent of Americans oppose DACA.

Nearly three in four (71 percent) respondents, however, said they felt undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, while just 26 percent said they believed those people should be deported.

The poll also showed that most Americans still view Trump unfavorably and disapprove of the job he is doing as president.

More than six in 10 (61 percent) said they had an unfavorable impression of Trump, while another 36 percent said they had a favorable impression of the president.

And 59 percent of Americans said they disapproved of the way Trump was handling his job as president, while 39 percent said they approved.

Those numbers represent a slight deterioration for Trump’s ratings since March, when an NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll found that 56 percent of Americans disapproved of the job he was doing.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online from August 24 through August 29, 2017, among a national sample of 10,129 adults. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. For full results and methodology, click here.

Julia Ainsley contributed.