Only 44% of Americans approve of the job President Biden is doing on border security, with 55% saying they disapprove, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Monday. And on the related issue of immigration, Biden stands at 42% approval and 56% disapproval.
And only a quarter approve of how the president’s handling the crisis involving unaccompanied children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
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Nevertheless, Biden’s overall approval rating stands at 61% in the new national poll, with 38% disapproving of his performance so far as president.
The influx of migrants crossing the nation’s southern border with Mexico has jumped since Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Republicans have repeatedly slammed the president on the issue, blaming him for what the White House refuses to call a “crisis.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is on pace to have encountered more than 171,000 migrants in March alone, two sources familiar with internal CBP data told Fox News — a dramatic increase over last year’s numbers and the latest sign that the crisis at the southern border is not subsiding. The number, based on preliminary data and not yet finalized, would mark a sharp increase in numbers from the already-high 100,441 migrants encountered in February – and the roughly 34,000 migrants encountered in March of last year.
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According to the survey, nearly 9 in 10 Republicans disapprove of how the president’s handling border security and immigration, with more than 6 in 10 independents giving Biden a thumbs down on the two issues. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats say they approve of how the president’s dealing with both issues.
Four in ten surveyed in the poll say they disapprove of how Biden’s handling the surge of unaccompanied children apprehended at the nation’s southern border, with a 24% approving and 35% saying they neither approve or disapprove. CBP is projecting that as many as 184,000 unaccompanied children could reach the border in the fiscal year 2021, according to sources.
The poll highlights that most Americans think reuniting parents and children who were separated at the border and providing safe treatment to these unaccompanied children should be high priorities for the federal government. Just over half (53%) say increased security at the U.S.-Mexico border should be a key concern for Biden’s immigration agenda. Other immigration issues – including deportation, guest worker visas, and providing a path to citizenship – rank lower in importance.
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“Most Democrats say reuniting children and parents, providing safe treatment of unaccompanied minors at the border, and finding a way to grant legal status for immigrants who were brought to this country illegally as children should be a high priority for the federal government,” the pollsters write. “Most Republicans think increasing border security, preventing people from overstaying their visas, and deporting undocumented immigrants should receive high priority by Washington.”
While Biden’s numbers on border security and immigration are well underwater, he stands at 73% approval and 26% disapproval on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 62%-36% on health care, 60%-43% on the economy, and 55%-43% on foreign policy. The president’s at 48%-50% on dealing with the federal budget and 45%-52% on gun policy.
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The AP/NORC poll was conducted March 25-29, with 1,166 adults nationwide questioned. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or 3.6 percentage points.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report