As the Biden administration continues to wrestle with an influx of people illegally crossing the southern border, new polling shows Americans are unhappy with the president’s handling of the issue.
Polling released Tuesday from Rasmussen reports that roughly two-thirds of Americans think “the current situation with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border is a crisis.”
The majority of voters also say President Joe Biden’s policies are to blame, according to the poll. Only 20% of voters say the nation’s immigration problem is not a crisis, 66% call it a crisis, and the rest are unsure.
The polling comes after a surge of immigrants crossing illegally this year. Data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol showed that in March, CBP encountered 172,000 illegal immigrants heading north across the border, a sharp increase from 101,000 the previous month. Those March numbers remained relatively steady for the month of April.
That increase comes after Biden changed federal rules to decrease deportations. According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests are down 60% under Biden.
The White House has been careful in their messaging about the border to not call it a “crisis.” However, Biden did call the immigration increase a crisis in April in response to questions from reporters.
“We’re gonna increase the numbers. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people and we couldn’t do two things at once. And now we’re going to increase the numbers,” Biden said.
The White House later walked back his comments and has stayed consistent in not using the term.
“The president does not feel that children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships and other dire circumstances is a crisis,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a news conference after Biden’s comments. “He does feel that the crisis in Central America, the dire circumstances that many are fleeing from, that that is a situation we need to spend our time on, our effort on, and we need to address it if we’re going to prevent more of an influx of migrants coming in years to come.”
While not calling the situation a crisis, the White House has made clear officials are working on addressing the immigration issue.
The Tuesday poll comes the same day that 20 governors sent a letter to the Biden administration attacking Biden’s immigration policies, particularly his detainment of migrant children.
“Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable,” the letter reads. “We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this administration’s misguided actions.”
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