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Minutes after President Biden’s administration rolled back Trump-era pandemic restrictions along the US-Mexico border that effectively blocked migrants from entering the United States to seek asylum, Republicans have warned that it would deepen the border crisis and potentially help secure a GOP midterm victory.
The president’s decision came after more than a year of pressure from his fellow Democrats amid frustration at the inability to end a policy they see as illegal and cruel to those fleeing the persecution.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) order to lift what’s called Title 42 on May 23 could become another liability for the president and congressional Democrats who are already facing historic headwinds. and an unfavorable political climate partially fueled by runaway inflation and soaring gasoline prices. Democrats are trying to maintain their wafer-thin House and Senate majorities in November’s midterm elections.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION LIFTS TRUMP-ERA RESTRICTIONS AT U.S.-MEXICO BORDER
“Every Democrat will be held accountable for the Biden administration’s decision to turn its border crisis into a border disaster,” Republican National Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said in a statement to Fox News a few months ago. minutes after the publication of the administration’s decision.
President Trump’s administration issued the order amid the coronavirus outbreak. It has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to deport a majority of migrants at the border. Although it is a public health order, not an immigration policy, it has become one of the central border policies in place as the United States faces an ongoing crisis of numbers at the border. In February, about 55% of migrants were returned due to the order rather than being released in the United States
“Title 42 has been nothing short of disastrous for immigrant families seeking asylum from the horrors of their own country,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last month. “It is unacceptable that this policy continues to be used indiscriminately to expel migrants with valid asylum claims from our southern border.”
DEM SENATORS SOUND ALARM OVER REPORTS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WILL END TITLE 42 BORDERS POLICYYes
But with border crossings over the past year at historic highs, the GOP sees the Biden administration’s Friday decision as fresh ammunition on the campaign trail.
The NRCC, the re-election arm of the House GOP, has long viewed border security as a winning issue not only in competitive House districts along the country’s southern border, but across the country, not only with a GOP base that is inflamed over immigration and border security, but among independent voters and even some Democrats.
“It’s an American problem. I think it’s going to play out everywhere,” NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., pointed out in an interview with Fox News in February.
The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in November to regain the majority in the House it lost midterm in 2018. Among the many targeted districts they hope to unseat , there are a handful of blue seats along the country’s southern border in Texas and Arizona.
REPUBLICANS SAY BORDER SECURITY ‘WILL PLAY EVERYWHERE HALFWAY’
Senate Republicans need a net gain of just one seat in the 100-member chamber to win back a majority. And one of the Senate Democrats they consider vulnerable is freshman Mark Kelly of Arizona.
“Senate Democrats like Mark Kelly created this border crisis and have consistently voted against measures to secure the border,” Republican National Senate Committee (NRSC) spokeswoman Katharine Cooksey said in a statement to Fox. News.
“Now they are all powerless to stop Joe Biden from making the crisis worse. American families are hurting because of the Democrats’ reckless and open border policies.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted that Biden’s decision was the worst national news of the day and the best policy news for the GOP, predicting that Democratic senators from border states of Arizona and Nevada “will lose their elections.
The president’s approval rating is a key barometer for his party in a midterm election cycle, and Biden’s standing with Americans has been well under water for months. But his approval ratings on his handling of border and immigration security are even worse.
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The president’s approval for immigration has been at or below 40% for a year in Fox News’ national poll. Biden was 37% approving and 58% disapproving of his handling of the issue in the latest Fox News poll conducted March 18-21.
An average compiled by Real Clear Politics of all the most recent polls looking at the president’s handling of border security and immigration put Biden’s approval at 34% and his disapproval at 58%.