SAN DIEGO (AP) — A sharp drop in illegal border crossings since December could blunt a Republican point of attack against President Joe Biden as the Democratic leader moves to reshape a broken asylum system that has dogged him and his predecessors.

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows some support for changing the number of immigrants and asylum-seekers allowed into the country. About 4 in 10 U.S. adults say the level of immigration and asylum-seekers should be lowered, while about 2 in 10 say they should be higher, according to the poll. About a third want the numbers to remain the same.

The decrease in border crossings followed Biden’s announcement in early January that Mexico would take back Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans under a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants the right to seek asylum as part of an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, the U.S. agreed to admit up to 30,000 a month of those four nationalities on humanitarian parole if they apply online, enter at an airport and find a financial sponsor.

The administration has also proposed generally denying asylum to anyone who travels though another country on their way to the U.S. without seeking protection there — effectively all non-Mexicans who appear at the U.S. southern border. 

The new rules put forth by Biden could help the president fight back against critics who complain he hasn’t done enough to address border security issues. But the moves have also fueled anger among some of his Democratic allies who are concerned that he is furthering a Trump-era policy they view as anti-immigrant and hurting vulnerable migrants who are trying to escape dangerous conditions in their native countries.

And the new changes — and subsequent drop in illegal border crossings — are unlikely to stop the barrage of attacks from conservatives who see border security as a powerful political weapon.

Biden has been on the defensive as Republicans and right-wing media outlets have hammered him over the soaring increase in migrant encounters at the border. The new House GOP leadership has held hearings on what they call the “Biden border crisis” and talked of impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Agents detained migrants more than 2.5 million times at the southern border in 2022, including more than 250,000 in December, the highest on record. According to a U.S. …read more



Plunge in border crossings could blunt GOP attack on Biden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *