President Biden’s Immigration Orders Have a Popularity Problem



Most presidents enjoy a significant “honeymoon period” when they first take office. This is typically due to a variety of reasons, such as Americans trying to be upbeat about change, a desire for unity, and the incoming president immediately moving to implement their most popular campaign promises.

However, this hasn’t been the case for most of President Biden’s moves on immigration. According to a new poll by the Morning Consult, most of his immigration-related executive orders have garnered approval ratings under 50 percent. And the unpopularity of these orders don’t appear to be rooted in blind partisanship, considering that the same survey revealed his actions on COVID-19 enjoy strong bi-partisan support.

The president’s least popular executive order by far was his decision to drastically increase the refugee cap from 15,000 to at least 110,000. Only 39 percent of Americans approved of this change.

The other immigration-related executive orders that didn’t gather more than 50 percent support included:

  • Revoking a policy that would prevent illegal aliens from being counted in the U.S. census (45 percent).
  • Pausing the “remain in Mexico” program for asylum applicants (46 percent).
  • Ending the travel restrictions for foreign residents from terror-prone countries (46 percent).
  • “Reviewing” the strengthened enforcement of the “public charge” rule, which ensured that those who immigrate to the United States can provide for themselves without government assistance (49 percent).

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that these executive actions rank among President Biden’s least popular moves. As the United States continues to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, most citizens want the federal government to dedicate as many federal resources as possible to struggling Americans, not foreign nationals.

Additionally, ending the Migrant Protection Protocols (referred to in the survey as the “remain in Mexico” doctrine) will assuredly increase asylum fraud. This decision not only harms U.S. citizens, but it also means that those making valid asylum claims will have to wait much longer – several years in many cases – to have their claims approved.

Finally, ending the travel restrictions from terror-prone countries holds no strategic value for the United States, and will threaten national security. The Biden administration falsely claims that these restrictions were put in place solely as an act of xenophobia against Muslim-majority countries. However, the countries included in the original order were first listed as “countries of concern” by the Obama administration – when Biden was Vice-President.

All these executive orders place the interests of foreigners ahead of U.S. citizens. And, based on the results of this survey, Americans know that. The Biden administration should take this as a lesson that voters don’t respond well to their needs being ignored.

About Author

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Spencer joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

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