(NewsNation) — A majority of Americans oppose the Biden Administration’s decision to end the immigration policy known as Title 42, according to a NewsNation/DecisionDesk HQ poll released Wednesday.
Nearly 54 percent of registered voters polled by NewsNation oppose the decision to end the policy, which gives the United States the ability to turn away migrants at the border without first giving them the opportunity to apply for asylum, according to the latest NewsNation poll. Almost 47 percent favor ending the program.
Thomas Bevan — a trusted political source in Washington —says having to make a decision on the policy could not have come at a worse time.
“When you look across all of the data that is available, including President Biden’s approval rating — which will correlate most directly to the outcome in November — it is all doom and gloom for the Democrats,” Bevan said Wednesday night during an episode of “On Balance with Leland Vittert”.
“The only good news for them is that election is six months away,” he continued.
Former President Donald Trump implemented the policy in March 2020 as a way to manage migrant crossings. Title 42 is a little-used public health rule to quickly expel nearly anyone encountered along the Southwest border.
With COVID-19 cases in decline, the Biden administration has said it intends to end the use of Title 42 at the border May 23. This comes as Axios reports that Biden is considering delaying the end of Title 42. NewsNation is working to confirm those reports.
Authorities have expelled migrants more than 1.7 million times using Title 42. Border agents stopped migrants 221,303 times along the Southwest border in March, a 38% increase from February, according to data released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP said the number of unique individuals encountered nationwide in March came to 159,900, a 37% increase from the prior month.
More than half of the total 221,303 stopped were quickly turned away without being given a chance to apply for asylum, either to Mexico or their homelands, according to data supplied to a federal court in Texas as part of that state’s challenge of Biden administration immigration policies.
Local and state officials believe they could be seeing more than half a million migrant encounters per month once Title 42 goes away. That would be about two or even three times what CBP is seeing now. Local authorities are concerned about the sustainability of the Border Patrol without Title 42.
“The question is, is it sustainable? And it’s very difficult. It’s very challenging when Border Patrol right now ever since last year are just so overwhelmed.” Texas DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez said.
Several moderate Democrats have joined Republican leaders to call for an extension of Title 42 authority. Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat up for election this year, toured the border last week and warned that the Biden administration is unprepared for asylum restrictions to be lifted.
“You look a person like Raphael Warnock — who is no centralist Democrat. He’s very progressive — and he is not in favor lifting Title 42,” Bevan said.
“It has exposed the chasm within the party at the worse possible time. Joe Biden needs to win over the swing voters but they also wont win a midterm election if their base is upset, depressed or stays home. So they’re kind of in a catch 22,” he continued.
A majority of Americans polled oppose ending Title 42. But that opinion varies based on race.
- 65% of Black voters favor ending Title 42
- 60% of Hispanic voters favor ending Title 42
- 47% of Asian voters favor ending Title 42
- 41% of white voters favor ending Title 42
NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ asked more than 1,000 registered voters their opinions on the current border crisis as the number of migrants trying to enter the United States continues to rise. Most poll questions had a margin of error of about 3 percent. Data was collected Sunday and Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.