In the past four months, President Biden has introduced immigration policies that resemble those of former President Donald Trump’s administration, such as enforcing a limit on the number of Latin Americans who can seek asylum in the United States and deporting asylum seekers to Mexico for a temporary period and proposing to incarcerate migrant families once again.
Facing an estimated 5.5 million border crossings from the southern border since assuming office, the largest number in U.S. history, Biden’s sudden shift in immigration policy, according to Democratic strategists, highlights his weakness on the issue as he gears up for re-election.
According to polls, immigration poses a challenge for the president, with only 39% of American adults expressing support for his immigration policy and a mere 38% approving of his handling of the border crisis, as per an Associated Press survey conducted in March.
Critics argue that Biden’s efforts to shift towards the center regarding the border issue, despite the persistently high number of crossings, are simply headline-grabbing measures rather than genuine solutions. They contend that cooperating with allies to accept more migrants or implementing a new asylum application process may create publicity regarding Biden’s attempt to position himself ahead of the 2024 elections, but would not change the fact that millions of Latin Americans view the United States as a hospitable place to start a new life.
Democratic political consultant Colin Strother stated that even some liberals share the view that for two years, the White House permitted “ideologues” to shape the country’s immigration policies, resulting in disordered waves of undocumented immigrants. Currently, administration officials are striving to reverse the negative outcomes.
Strother remarked, “Biden sees the same polling data as everyone else. They’re talking to focus groups; they know it’s a problem.”
Biden recently revealed a new partnership with Canada aimed at reducing the number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States via the northern border. The agreement includes creating a refuge program in Canada for 15,000 migrants allegedly fleeing violence and economic turmoil in Central and South America.
Despite the White House’s assertion that the agreement is a step forward in addressing “the daunting challenges of today,” the figure of 15,000 is insignificant when compared to the more than 156,000 southern border crossings that occurred in January alone. Additionally, the agreement does not address the Border Patrol’s lack of resources.
Biden just brokered an immigration deal with Canada.
Meanwhile, at our southern border…
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) March 24, 2023
Immigration hardliners believe that deportations are the most effective means of halting future illegal entries, but the Biden administration has ignored this tool, resulting in deportation rates reaching historic lows.