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Poll: Public unhappy with response to immigration influx

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WASHINGTON – A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds widespread public disapproval of the way President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress are handling the influx of unaccompanied foreign children at the southern border as the two sides engage in a fierce debate over how to stem the crisis.

Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans are not happy with Obama’s performance in dealing with the tens of thousands of minors who have arrived from Central America in recent months, overwhelming Border Patrol stations. All told, 58 percent disapprove of his management on the issue, including 54 percent of Latinos.

The findings represent a political blow for a president who called immigration reform a top second-term priority when he was re-elected two years ago with 71 percent support from Latino voters.

But as with many other hot-button issues, congressional Republicans fare even worse in the court of public opinion, with 66 percent disapproving of the job GOP lawmakers have done to address the crisis. Almost as many Republicans disapprove of their party’s handling of the issue as say they approve, with negative ratings rising to a majority among conservatives.

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