Washington (CNN) - It's one of the hottest national debates this summer: What to do about the influx of unaccompanied and undocumented children from Central America who are crossing from Mexico into the U.S.
A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's short term remedy, but most give the President and his GOP critics in Congress a thumbs down on how they're handling the crisis along the country's southern border.
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According to an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Tuesday, 53% support the White House plan to spend $3.7 billion to immediately deal with the situation, with 43% saying they disapprove of the proposal. The survey indicates an expected partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats supportive of the Obama plan. That number drops to 51% among independents and down to 35% among Republicans. Hispanics questioned in the poll support the proposal by a 54%-43% margin.
Even though a majority back the President's proposal, only a third of Americans give Obama a thumbs up on how he's handling the issue of undocumented immigrants entering the country. While that's nothing to brag about, only 23% of those questioned say they approve of how congressional Republicans are dealing with the crisis. Even Republicans are divided (48% approval – 45% disapproval) on how federal lawmakers from their own party are handling the issue.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted July 9-13, with 1,016 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story