More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden’s response to the increasing number of migrants arriving at the southern border, including thousands of unaccompanied children, according to an Associated Press-NORC poll released Monday.
Just 24% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the border, compared to 35% who have no strong opinion and 40% who disapprove, the poll showed. Only 44% of Democrats said they approved, while just 8% of Republicans said the same.
Biden has defended his administration’s immigration approach, arguing that it is more humane and sensible than former President Donald Trump’s hardline approach that championed the border wall and policies that made it tougher for Central American migrants to seek asylum. But the Biden administration has struggled to accommodate the increase, leading to shelters and facilities that are vastly overcrowded.
Nearly 60% of respondents said that safely accommodating unaccompanied children was the most important border-related issue, while 65% said the same about reuniting families. Over half said that increasing border security should be a high priority, and just under half said the same regarding immigrants overstaying their visas. (RELATED: Biden Plays Defense On Immigration During First In-Person Press Conference)
Just over half of respondents said that they supported a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children, known as DREAMers, compared to just 24% who said they were opposed. But despite the support, just 41% said that extending their legal protections should be a high priority.
Biden said that his administration was “sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming” during his press conference on Mar. 25, but made “no apologies” for reversing Trump’s policies. (RELATED: Mayorkas: Southern Border Crossings On Pace To Hit 20-Year High)
Biden’s approval rating on the border is far lower than the 42% of Americans who approve of his handling of immigration more broadly and the 61% of Americans who approve of his overall job performance.
The AP-NORC poll was conducted from March 26-29 among 1,166 adults, and has a margin of error of 3.6 points.
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