The White House hoped the country’s immigration problems would dissipate. Then, images emerged last week of tens of thousands of migrants huddled under a bridge near Del Rio, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico.

President Joe Biden’s inability to stem the flow of migrants across the southern border could help Republicans persuade independents to vote for them next year.

BIDEN’S ECONOMIC APPROVAL RATINGS AND THE BLOCKED EXPENDITURE PROGRAM

Biden’s immigration job approval is weak. On average, 36% of those polled told pollsters they approved of its border management and 56% disapproved of it, according to RealClearPolitics . In comparison, an average of 46% approve of his overall job performance, while 50% disapprove.

Polls suggest Republicans care more about immigration policies than Democrats. But the problem is growing among independents, according to Ipsos findings released last week.

The economy was the main concern of a quarter of independent respondents in an Ipsos poll conducted in mid-September. Another fifth of the independents appointed public health. But immigration was the most pressing issue for 1 in 10 freelancers.

Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos also found that Democrats are in the minority when it comes to having a positive public opinion about Biden’s handling of immigration.

“The reason Republicans lean is because indies break down the same way GOPers do, unlike other issues,” he said.

Aggressive Progressive Podcast host and former Democratic consultant Christopher Hahn downplayed the significance of the findings, saying independents vote based on economic concerns.

“This is clearly a problem that the GOP is using to inflate its base,” he said. “They will try to show this as a failure of the Biden administration. However, if the nation is happy with its progress on COVID and the economy, this issue won’t move the needle much one way or the other. . “

For Republican strategist and former Florida Senator Marco Rubio chief of staff Cesar Conda, Biden’s border crisis is “on his own initiative.” Conda, who is part of the bipartisan immigration reform campaign in 2013, cited polls that indicate independents are supporting the GOP’s “hard” border policies “by wide margins.”

“This is a problem for Biden and the Democrats ahead of next year’s election,” he told the Washington Examiner of the 2022 midterm electoral cycle.

Senate Democrats are studying how to update immigration laws with their massive $ 3.5 trillion partisan and climate social spending program after a government official last weekend ruled that the language creating a path to citizenship could not be included in the process of budget reconciliation as it stood. But Conda is adamant that a legal process for undocumented migrants would gain bipartisan approvals.

“Republican voters support the reception of the Dreamers with a strong majority,” he said, referring to people who immigrated illegally to the United States as children.

After a record number of migrants crossed the border early in Biden’s tenure, the issue was absorbed into his national agenda. When the US Border Patrol reported in August that it had recorded nearly 200,000 encounters in the previous month, the highest in 21 years, the president’s foreign policy in Afghanistan collapsed with the country.

But photos of up to 14,000 Haitian migrants under the Del Rio international bridge last week drew attention to immigration. When border patrol officers were captured over the weekend chasing migrants on horseback, it sparked further outrage over inaccurate allegations that one of them used a whip.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called the footage horrific, but preferred an investigation “to take its course”.

“You cannot arm a horse to aggressively attack a child. It is unacceptable. It is not what our policies and our training require,” he said on Tuesday. “We will not tolerate mistreatment.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden has tasked with leading his response to the root causes of illegal migration, highlighted Haiti’s recent social, economic and political upheavals. Haiti has recovered from a series of natural disasters and the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse this summer, and many migrants initially fled the country after the 2010 earthquake.

“We have to meet some very basic needs that the Haitian people must meet and do what people naturally want to do, whether they are from Haiti or the countries of Central America. People want to stay at home, ”she said. “But they leave when they can’t meet their basic needs.”

Biden, who campaigned for his compassion, overturned many of the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump, such as the border wall. But Biden has chosen to keep some of Trump’s agendas, including Title 42, which allows the deportation of adult migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Others, like Trump’s “Stay in Mexico” policy, have been held up due to court orders.

Although Haitians who were in the United States before July 29 are eligible for temporary protection status, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that Biden was considering asking Mayorkas to extend the designation. to include migrants from Del Rio.

Psaki defended Biden a day earlier against criticism that his officials treat Haitian migrants differently from their counterparts in Northern Triangle countries.

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“Obviously, any circumstance in which individuals are not treated humanely, whether or not they come to our border, is not in accordance with the policies of the Biden administration,” she said.