By Li Hai
More Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the border security and the influx of unaccompanied children as illegal immigrants at the southern border reach record highs.
According to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, while Biden has an overall approval rating of 61 percent, 55 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of border security 56 percent disapprove of his immigration policies.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures show that illegal crossings rose to over 100,000 in February. “The highest February that we had seen in 20 years,” former acting Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told The Epoch Times.
More than 150,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended at the southern border in March and another 30,000 evaded capture, according to former Commissioner Mark Morgan, who has received provisional CBP numbers from internal sources.
As to Biden’s handling of unaccompanied children apprehended at the southern border, only 24 percent of Americans approve his performance, 40 percent don’t approve, and another 35 percent of Americans neither approve nor disapprove.
The number of unaccompanied children crossing the border reached more than 18,500 in March, 60 percent higher than the previous record of 11,494 in May 2019, according to CBP data obtained by NBC News.
The Biden administration claims it’s more “humane” to keep the children in the United States. Republicans criticize the policy, accompanied by the rollback of other Trump-era policies, for causing the sharp increase of unaccompanied children at the border.
The poll also showed that 65 percent of Americans think the Biden administration should give high priority to “reuniting parents and children who were separated at the border.” Twenty-six percent think it’s a moderate priority.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans think “providing safe treatment of unaccompanied minors at the border” should be a high priority for the federal government.
Currently, border facilities are being overwhelmed by the surge of illegal immigrants. Last week, over 4,100 illegal immigrants, more than 3,400 of them unaccompanied children, were crowded in a border facility intended for 250 people in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. The Biden administration opened two more emergency holding facilities in Texas on Monday to temporarily house unaccompanied minors.
Biden also has negative approval ratings on gun policy and the federal budget deficit. The disapproval ratings are 52 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
The poll showed significant differences across party lines in Biden’s approval ratings.
For example, among the 61 percent of Americans who generally approve Biden’s job as president, 96 percent are Democrats and 58 percent are Independents, compared to only 22 percent of Republicans.
As to border security, only 14 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Independents approve of Biden’s work, compared to 74 percent of Democrats.
The poll of 1,166 adults was conducted between March 26 and 29. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
The Associated Press and Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.