How immigration will affect the presidential election

Here in few words how immigration will affect the presidential election: Biden will attempt to recover from a (correct in my view) casual approach to the border crisis, which is actually a number of crises.  Trump, with complete control over Republican messaging, is already calling for revengeful, draconian policies that resonant with many Republicans but leave independents cold.  The independent electorate, if it perceives that Biden is consistently addressing the border crisis as they define it, will settle back to their normal view of immigration as a positive thing for the country that they don’t really want to pay much attention to. Here are five polls which pretty much tell the same story of Biden’s challenge.

Immigration has risen sharply in saliency among voters, from the low – mid tens to the 20s. This is reflected in three separate polls, noted below.

Note, however, that the immigration issue as presented in the political arena focuses only on immigration which is publicly viewed as “illegal.” It was not a slip of the tongue when Biden referred to “illegal” instead of the legalistic term “undocumented” in his State of the Union speech.  I expect that the White House knows full well that the crisis of “illegal” migration embraces pretty much all activity on the Mexican border: individuals and families seeking asylum, those seeking to avoid detection on entry, drug smuggling, sex trafficking.

The bipartisan bill was designed to address all these issues. Below, I report on broad support for the bipartisan bill.

the Center for Immigration Studies summarizes three polls — Gallup, Wall Street  Journal, and Fox News —  all circling around the came core observations that the electorate other than Democrats are very worried about the border crisis, and that Biden is losing on this issue in large numbers.

The Trump team is attempting to leverage this sharply higher salience over the border to a broad assault on all existing unauthorized residents,  Bannon’s statement in late February calls for mass deportations, presumably all 11 million, and also calls for a complete dismantling of the asylum program. Typical with Trump’s instincts, he pushes away more people than he attracts. Americans do not want to see photos of police arresting people at their homes or work, nor do they want photos of large detention centers.

Support for the bipartisan bill  is strong among independents. Self-identifying independent voters rose from about 30% of voters in the 2000s to about 40% today.

A fourth poll Third Way poll shows strong support for the bipartisan bill among independents. The poll breaks the bill down to 12 provisions. In ten of the provisions, independents approved of five between 60 and 69%, and in five more between at or above 70%, for instance “emergency powers to close borders”  and “new federal powers for drug enforcement.” Receiving well less support are two, including “builds more detention centers” (39%).

There is a fifth poll– Marist.  This poll amplifies what I noted above. It shows that Biden must demonstrate that he had a credible, bipartisan plan to control the border

Independents are more than twice as likely to choose the Republicans (38%) rather than the Democrats (17%) when it comes to handling the issue of immigration. However, more than three in ten independents (31%) think neither party can adequately address the issue

44% of independents think increasing security at the United States-Mexico border to reduce illegal crossings should be the top immigration priority.

Only 14% of Americans say deporting those who entered the country illegally should be the top priority for immigration. This is the constituency which Trump is focusing on.

55% of independents think America’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation.






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