President Joe Biden has followed through on his campaign promise to lead the nation on a much different path than his predecessor, notably by repealing or altering many of former President Donald Trump’s strict border and immigration policies.
While the current administration has fulfilled that vow, the resulting surge of undocumented migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border has apparently served to reduce the president’s popularity among Americans.
Recent polls reveal troublesome trend
According to recent polling data, the border represents his worst issue in terms of job-performance numbers.
An AP-NORC survey conducted between March 25-29 involving 1,166 adult respondents showed that less than one in four Americans approves of Biden’s handling of the border and immigration policies.
Pollsters found that 40% disapprove and 35% did not have an opinion. The poll comes with a 3.6% margin of error.
The same poll showed that Biden’s priorities regarding border security and immigration are out of step with the preferences of Americans in general. Just 29% of those surveyed highly prioritized a pathway to citizenship and just one in three prioritizes opening up the border to all migrants who seek entry.
Meanwhile, more than half highly prioritizing increased border security, and nearly as many — 47% — prioritize preventing migrants from unlawfully overstaying their visas.
More than a “seasonal uptick”
One particularly troublesome aspect of the border surge for the president is a massive uptick in unaccompanied minors crossing the border, resulting in overcrowded and understaffed detention facilities. The recent poll found that 59% of respondents cited the safe treatment of migrant children as a top priority.
Bolstering those results are other reports showing the poll was not an outlier. A recent NPR/Marist survey, for example, found that Biden received a positive rating on nearly everything aside from his handling of immigration and border security.
Likewise, a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll, which received input from more than 2,000 registered voters between March 26-29, showed Biden’s approval on border-related issues had declined substantially since his inauguration.
Since late January, his approval on immigration had dropped from 47% to 40%, according to the results. His disapproval spiked 10 points from 39% to 49% over the same period.
Notably, that poll also indicated that Americans are not accepting Biden’s excuses like blaming the border crisis on typical seasonal increases in border crossings. In fact, just 27% of all respondents said that the surge was an ordinary “seasonal uptick” while more than half saw it as a direct result of Biden’s decision to reverse Trump’s tough-but-effective policies.