If it’s a day that ends in a Y, there’s bound to be some brutal polling news for President Joe Biden and the Democrats. This time, it’s on illegal immigration.
According to The Hill, a poll released Thursday found that a solid majority of Americans felt it isn’t time to lift Title 42, the public health policy that allows illegal immigrants to be summarily deported.
The Biden administration plans to lift it on May 23, a move which could potentially more than double the number of illegal immigrant apprehensions at the southern border, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve reported on how Joe Biden’s administration has bungled border security and illegal immigration from the start, including the decision to lift Title 42. We’ll continue to document how the president and his party have encouraged and abetted the crisis at the southern border. You can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.)
The CNN/SSRS poll of 1,007 respondents, conducted between April 28 and May 1, found that 57 percent of Americans favored keeping Title 42 in place, versus 43 percent who wanted the policy ended. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Title 42 is a World War II-era section of the public health code; it allows for the exclusion of persons entering the United States when the director of the CDC determines “there is serious danger of the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States.”
The policy was put into place during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic by the administration of former President Donald Trump; any individual who was apprehended trying to enter the United States illegally or who tried to enter at the border with an asylum claim was deported without a hearing.
The Biden administration kept the Trump administration’s policy mostly in place, with one exception: Unaccompanied minors were exempted. This, with stunning predictability, led to a surge in unaccompanied minors being taken into custody during the early months of Biden’s administration.
In early April, the administration announced it was removing Title 42 restrictions on all migrants. To the extent America remembers the early days of the administration and the border crisis — or that there were a record 1.7 million apprehensions by Customs and Border Protection last year and that this move would make the situation significantly worse — they don’t want to see the policy removed.
Should Title 42 remain in place?
Of those who said they didn’t want it lifted, 48 percent said the Biden administration needed more time to prepare. The other 52 percent said Title 42 should be kept in place indefinitely.
Setting aside the question of whether or not a public health policy is the correct vehicle for controlling illegal immigration, what’s clear is the Biden administration has no control over it, nor does it have any serious intentions of reining it in.
In March, even before the Title 42 expiration was announced, the United States hit a decades-old record of illegal immigrants apprehended at the southern border, with 221,303.
That was the highest level since March of 2000, in which 220,063 individuals were apprehended.
Consider, then, that the CDC estimated 18,000 illegal immigrants per day would be apprehended when Title 42 was allowed to expire, according to ABC News. That works out to 540,000 a month.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has spun this as a worst-case scenario.
“We’re not projecting 18,000, but what we do in the department is we plan for different scenarios, so we’re ready for anything that might materialize,” Mayorkas told CNN last Sunday.
“It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios. And that is what we are doing.”
Note the wording there: not that DHS is ready for worst-case scenarios, just that they planned as part of being ready. Perhaps just that’s just how Mayorkas phrased it, but it’s not a difference without a distinction — not when we’re already setting illegal immigration records we shouldn’t be.
Hitting half-a-million apprehensions a month would be disastrous, and Mayorkas knows it. Let’s face it: Even anything that falls in the middle range between that worst-case scenario and March’s 221,303 apprehension number is going to look disastrous for a Biden administration that made a gigantic mess out of a relatively small surge of mostly Haitian migrants at the Del Rio, Texas border crossing last September.
There’s no backing away from removing Title 42 now, though; alea jacta est, as Julius Caesar might have put it. Caesar didn’t have to face midterms after he crossed the Rubicon, however, nor was public polling a big thing in the first-century B.C. Rome. In 2022 America, Joe Biden has to deal with both. Neither looks good for him.
On the polling front, consider that in the history of Gallup’s long-standing poll, Biden has the second-lowest approval rating at this point in his presidency at 41.3 percent. The lowest was Donald Trump, at 39.1 percent — and he could never shake the label of being divisive.
That’s partially how the Democrats took power in the House of Representatives in 2018 and how Biden gaffed his way into the White House from his Delaware basement in 2020. Other presidents who got shellackings in their first midterm election had significantly higher Gallup poll ratings.
Bill Clinton sat at 52.1 percent at this point in 1994; the Democrats lost both houses of Congress that year in what’s popularly called the “Republican Revolution.” Two years after sweeping Democrat victories seemed to hail a massive realignment to the left in Washington, Barack Obama sat at 48.8 percent in the Gallup poll in 2010. The Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives that year to take a majority in the lower chamber and captured three seats in the Senate.
The walloping was historically significant enough that last year, The Washington Post’s Jeff Greenfield wrote an article titled, “We’re Still Feeling the Aftershocks of the 2010 Midterm Elections.”
Keep that in mind when Joe Biden sits lower than anyone but Trump, and by a wide margin at that — and also consider this poll goes back to Dwight David Eisenhower’s administration.
Another poll released last month contained more bad news for Biden: Only 19 percent of Americans picked him when they were asked, “Who do you want to see run for president on the Democratic ticket in 2024?”
The winner: “Not sure.”
What Americans are sure about, however, is that Biden’s policies aren’t working. We’re about to see this dysfunction play out disastrously, yet again, in a human catastrophe at the southern border as Title 42 is removed.
Politicians shouldn’t be governed by polls, mind you. However, when that politician and his party seem to be charting new depths with each successive survey, perhaps vox populi doesn’t necessarily have the wrong idea.