(The Center Square) – More Americans polled in a recent Los Angeles Times/YouGov survey expressed opposition to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies as opposed to supporting them, including catch and release and not detaining and deporting millions of people who’ve illegally entered the U.S. since he’s been in office.
They also expressed support for local and state governments doing more when the federal government fails to do its job.
According to the poll, 35% strongly disapprove and 15% somewhat disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration compared to only 8% who said they strongly approve and 25% who somewhat approve.
A majority, 64%, said illegal immigration is a problem in the U.S. An addition, 42% said those who illegally enter the U.S. and file immigration claims should be sent back to their country of origin compared to 17% who said they should be able to remain in the U.S.
Another 39% said those illegally living in the U.S. without proper authorization should be required to leave the U.S. By comparison, 35% said they should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship; 12% said they could stay but not become citizens. Illegal entry and remaining in the U.S. without proper authorization is grounds for deportation, according to Title 8, the federal statute governing entry and deportation. The Biden administration halted most enforcement of it last year, prompting multiple states to sue.
The greatest percentage of respondents, 30%, said only a few of those claiming asylum had valid claims compared to 24% who said most did.
When it came to immigration enforcement, 44% said illegal foreign nationals who committed violent crimes should be arrested and detained; 19% said everyone in the U.S. without proper authorization regardless if they’ve violated laws should be arrested and detained; 36%, said both categories should be arrested and detained.
Another 44% said local police departments should report illegal foreign nationals without proper authorization to federal immigration officials; 24% said they shouldn’t. Over one-third, 34%, said state government officials should enforce immigration laws “no matter what other levels of government are doing;” 14% said they should “if they believe federal enforcement is too weak;” 26% said immigration enforcement should be left to the federal government.
Once illegal foreign nationals are sent to local communities, the majority polled, 45%, said they should be turned over to immigration authorities; 6% said they should be sent “to another part of the country;” 37% said they should be given taxpayer funded food, shelter and support; 12% said local government officials should “do nothing.”
The poll was conducted between Dec. 9-14, 2022, among 1,573 U.S. citizens and has a margin of error +/- 3.1%.
Texas has borne the brunt of illegal immigration and the crime that comes with it, dealing with nearly 1.8 million apprehended and reported evading capture in Texas in fiscal 2022 alone.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature have allocated over $4 billion of Texas taxpayer money to an unprecedented statewide border security mission. Since March 2021, Texas law enforcement officers have apprehended over 336,000 illegal foreign nationals and made over 23,000 criminal arrests, with more than 20,000 felony charges reported. They also seized over 354 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than everyone in the U.S.