After taking some time off, I am back. The most salient immigration issue today is Mexican crossings. The Republican immigration bill H.2 is almost entirely focused on this issue, As I observe below, they is using this topic to address more salient other concerns of large numbers of voters.
Democrats consolidated their support for immigration, while the Republicans as a whole have not moved anti-immigrant, from 2003 to 2023 per Gallup polls. The reality is that only a small segment of the population and electorate consider immigration as a major issue.
Republicans’ views that immigration is good for the country have dropped slightly (55% to 52%), while Democrats’ views have risen a lot (55% to 83%), resulting in 30% partisan gap, a relatively large one. Republicans becoming more likely (55% to 58%) and Democrats (45% to 18%) less likely to say that immigration should be decreased.
Having said that, the issue is far more salient among a many but no all Republicans.
September 25, 2022 interview with Joel Rose of NPR: “In our polling, Republicans just seem to care a lot more about immigration than Democrats or independents do. I mean, we see in our polling, about a third of Republicans consistently list immigration among their top concerns. And for Democrats, it’s just not in that top tier.”
The partisan issue is not immigration per se, but societal deterioration.
In my view, the Republican Party is attempting to show that American society is experiencing a crisis in the American way of life, and that they recruit and mold issues to reinforce their argument. For example, Republicans link the Fentanyl problem to migration beyond ports of entry. In this way, they can blame the Fentanyl problem on the Biden Administration even though Fentanyl overdose deaths soared –tripled–during the Trump years.
This is what is driving the move to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas: to make him out as an agent of social deterioration.
And they basically make up figures about how Islamic fanaticism is a danger in the U.S. due to illegal immigration. Since there has been essentially no Islamic terrorism attacks in the U.S. in recent years, this allegation gets no traction.