Poll: Americans Displeased by Biden's Handling of Immigration Crisis


Apparently, President Joe Biden’s handling of the border crisis isn’t quite winning him support among the American people.

In poll after poll, Biden is taking a beating over his handling of illegal immigration. In the first major crisis of his administration, Joe Biden isn’t just losing — he’s losing big.

According to The Hill, in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, 48 percent of Americans approve of how Biden is doing at the southern border. That’s down from the 56 percent that approved of his performance in February. The poll of 1,945 registered voters was conducted from March 24 to March 25 via an online sample.

While this was, The Hill noted, “the only issue on which Biden’s approval stands below the 50-percent mark” in a poll that showed Biden in a “honeymoon” period, it still could augur the potential for bad things in the future, according to Mark Penn, the director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll.

“There are some storms brewing in the horizon but his early low-key communications combined with strong actions has put him in a good opening light,” Penn said.

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Meanwhile, the situation was even direr in a Yahoo News/YouGov poll taken among 1,556 U.S. adults between March 23 and March 25, as 62 percent believed there was a “crisis” at the border. The poll reported a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

And, as reporter Caitlin Dickson noted in the article, during the 2020 election, “Biden positioned himself as Trump’s polar opposite when it came to immigration and the border, promising to replace the restrictive and punitive policies of the Trump administration with a more humane and welcoming system, particularly for those seeking asylum and other humanitarian protections.”

“Immediately upon taking office, Biden moved quickly to start following through on that promise, earning praise from immigration advocates and progressives as he signed stacks of executive orders to roll back a number of his predecessor’s harshest policies during his first days and weeks in the White House,” Dickson wrote in the piece, also published Monday.

“But recently the Biden administration has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle over its apparent failure to prevent, and more quickly respond to, an influx of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the border, resulting in overcrowding and prolonged detention at Border Patrol facilities,” she continued.

Is there a border crisis?

“The administration has taken a variety of steps over the last several days to increase bed capacity at existing shelters and stand up new emergency childcare facilities, while also working to speed up the process of safely reunifying those children with parents or appropriate sponsors.”

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll published the day before, “Most Americans, 54%, believe the situation with migrants and unaccompanied children showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border is currently a crisis. Forty-two percent characterize the situation as a serious problem, but not a crisis.”

“Just four percent say it is not a serious problem,” the article added.

That poll was conducted among 517 general population adults between Friday and Saturday using an online format.

And then there was an NPR/Marist poll, released Tuesday, which showed voters “are less likely to approve of Biden’s performance on immigration (34% approve to 53% disapprove).”

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“In January 2018, 38% approved of former President Donald Trump’s performance on the issue. 58% disapproved.”

So, what’s the Biden administration doing about it? Certainly not calling it a crisis, that’s for sure. Things are predictably dire on the southern border, where U.S. Border Patrol estimated it would break 150,000 encounters in March, according to NBC News.

The highest figure for the Trump administration was just over 144,000 at the height of the border crisis back in 2019. And it’s only expected to get worse — both in terms of the number of migrants and for the nascent administration.

“Your spring months into your summer months are always much busier for us,” a Border Patrol official told NBC.

At the moment, approval remains high. In the four polls mentioned, if they included a figure related to Biden’s popularity in general, it remained steady — with 61 percent approval in the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll and 52 percent in the NPR/Marist poll.

However, the border crisis isn’t about to end and what’s clear in these polls is that this is an issue Americans care about. After all, former President Donald Trump won office based on his messaging around the wall.

If Biden doesn’t want to call it a crisis, rest assured plenty of Republicans will — and eventually, the media will have to follow suit.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture