Biden immigration decision could make midterm climate even tougher for Democrats

Biden immigration decision could make midterm climate even tougher for Democrats thumbnail

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Minutes after President Biden’s administration rescinded Trump-era pandemic restrictions along the U.S.-Mexico border that effectively blocked migrants from entering the U.S. to seek asylum, Republicans warned it would worsen the border crisis and potentially help deliver a GOP victory in the midterms. The president’s decision came after more than one year of pressure from fellow Democrats, who were frustrated by the inability to end a policy that they consider cruel and illegal for those fleeing persecution.

But the order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to lift on May 23 what’s known as Title 42 could become another liability for the president and congressional Democrats who already face historical headwinds and an unfavorable political climate partially fueled by soaring inflation and skyrocketing gas prices. The Democrats are trying maintain their razor thin majorities in the House of Representatives, Senate and both chambers in November’s midterm elections.

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION LIFTS TRUMP-ERA RESTRICTIONS AT U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

“Every Democrat will have to answer for the Biden administration’s decision to turn their border crisis into a border catastrophe,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair argued in a statement to Fox News minutes after the administration’s decision was reported.

Immigrants are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border Dec. 7, 2021, in Yuma, Arizona. 

Immigrants are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the U.S.-Mexico border Dec. 7, 2021, in Yuma, Arizona.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

Former President Trump’s administration issued the order amid the coronavirus outbreak. Both the Trump and Biden administrations used it to expel most migrants at the border. It is a public order and not an immigration policy. However, it has become one the most important border policies as the U.S. continues to face a crisis at the border. In February, approximately 55% of migrants were returned due to the order rather than being released into the U.S.

“Title 42 has been nothing short of disastrous for immigrant families seeking asylum from the horrors in their own countries,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last month. It is unacceptable that this policy is used indefinitely to remove valid refugee claims from our Southern border. “

DEM SENATORS SOUND ALARM OVER REPORTS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION WILL END TITLE 42 BORDER POLICY

But with border crossings over the past year at historical highs, the GOP sees Friday’s move by the Biden administration as fresh ammunition on the campaign trail. The NRCC, the House GOP reelection arm, has always viewed border security a winning issue, not just in competitive House districts along America’s southern border but across the country. Not only does it appeal to a GOP base that is passionate about immigration and border security, but also to independent voters and some Democrats. This is an American issue. I think it’s going to play everywhere,” NRCC chair Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota emphasized in an interview with Fox News in February.

Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents watch Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, Sept. 20, 2021 as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. 

Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents watch Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, Sept. 20, 2021 as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in November to regain the House majority it lost in the 2018 midterms. A few blue seats near the nation’s southern border, in Arizona and Texas, are among the targeted districts they hope to flip.

REPUBLICANS SAY BORDER SECURITY ‘WILL PLAY EVERYWHERE IN MIDTERMS’

Senate Republicans need a net gain of just one seat in the 100-member chamber to win back the majority. The freshman Mark Kelly from Arizona is one of the Senate Democrats they consider vulnerable.

“Senate Democrats such as Mark Kelly have created this border crisis, and have consistently voted in favor of measures to secure it,” Katharine Cooksey, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), stated in a statement to Fox News.

” Now they are all powerless to stop Joe Biden making the crisis worse. Americans are suffering from Democrats’ reckless, open-border policies. “

President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House Friday, April 1, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House Friday, April 1, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted that Biden’s move was the worst domestic news of the day and the best political news for the GOP, predicting that Democratic senators from border states Arizona and Nevada “will lose their elections. “

The president’s approval rating is an important barometer for his party’s performance in midterm elections. Biden’s standing among Americans has been low for months. His approval ratings for his handling of immigration and border security are worse.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The president’s approval on immigration has been at or below 40% for a year in Fox News’ national polling. Biden stood at 37% approval and 58% disapproval on his handling of the issue in the most recent Fox News poll conducted March 18-21.

An average compiled by Real Clear Politics of all the most recent polls that asked about the president’s handling of border security and immigration put Biden’s approval at 34% and disapproval at 58%.

Read More