Posted on January 26, 2023

Poll: Biden’s Approval on Immigration Drops to New Low

Andrew Romano and Caitlin Dickson, Yahoo, January 20, 2023

new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that President Biden’s overall job-approval rating has held steady — or even improved slightly — in recent weeks. Yet the same survey also found that on one specific issue, Biden’s numbers have never been worse.

That issue is immigration.

Just 31% of Americans now approve of how Biden is handling immigration — a new low. As recently as October, his approval on the issue was 35%; in previous Yahoo News/YouGov polls, it never slipped below 33%. Meanwhile, the share of Americans who disapprove of the president’s approach to immigration (55%) is higher than ever before, putting him underwater by 24 percentage points.

Across all 10 issues tested — including inflation, crime and the economy — immigration is now the most negative for Biden.

The survey of 1,538 U.S. adults, conducted from Jan. 12 to 16, reveals America’s complicated (and often contradictory) feelings about immigration as the numbers of migrants apprehended along the southern border have reached record highs.

More than two-thirds of Americans, for instance, see “the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border” as either “a state of crisis” (41%) or “a major problem but not a crisis” (29%). Fewer say the situation is just a “minor problem” (13%), while only 4% say it is “not a problem.” Thirteen percent are unsure.

Predictably, Republicans are far more likely to judge the border situation as a “crisis” (67%) than independents (45%) or Democrats (22%). Likewise, a full 79% of 2020 Donald Trump voters say the situation is a crisis.

When “crisis” and “major problem” responses are combined, however, a clear consensus emerges, with 68% of Democrats, 69% of 2020 Biden voters, 70% of independents, 84% of Republicans and 90% of 2020 Trump voters all agreeing that the border is at least a major problem.

And while Republicans are more convinced that conditions have gotten worse (73%) rather than better (10%) since Biden took office, less than a quarter of Democrats (23%) say the situation has improved. More than 6 in 10 say it has either gotten worse (22%) or stayed the same (39%).

That means that on the whole, just 13% of Americans believe the border situation has improved under Biden.


While Americans are plainly displeased by such developments, the politics of immigration going forward aren’t as clear-cut. A 54% majority, for instance, may say Biden deserves some (21%) or most (33%) of the blame for the current border situation. Yet even larger majorities say the same about Congress (61%) and the leaders of the countries that migrants are leaving (70%).


And while 43% favor and 39% oppose “building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border” to address the problems there, even more support “providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.” (47% favor, 34% oppose) or “providing a pathway to citizenship for ‘dreamers’ who were brought to the U.S. as children” (60% favor, 22% oppose).