U.S. Mexican Border Wall
U.S. Mexican Border Wall. Representational Image. Creative Commons

Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric is seemingly resonating beyond his hard base and appealing to some Democrats and demographics that previously disagreed with it, a new poll by AP-NORC shows.

The outlet argues this is the case because roughly two-thirds of respondents said they disapprove of Biden's handling of the border situation. This includes about 40% of Democrats and almost three quarters of Latinos (73%). Moreover, 45% said the situation is a crisis, while 32% called it a major problem.

To illustrate the shift, AP quotes Gracie Martinez, a Latina from Eagle Pass who once voted for Obama and calls herself a Democrat, but says her support has shifted to Trump as a result of the border issue.

"It's tons and tons of people and they're giving them medical and money, phones," she said, adding that those who immigrated legally were not treated as well as newly-arrivals are. Another person, Priscilla Hesles, called the situation "almost an overtaking" that had changed the town.

The survey also showed that over half of respondents ranked immigration as an "extremely or very important issue to them personally, including 75% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 46% of Democrats." However, figures showed more people considered issues like the economy, healthcare, crime or gun policies as more important. It was tied in terms of importance with abortion. For Democrats, it was the lowest ranked priority.

Asked whether immigrants had a major impact on the country in the past five years, a majority of respondents (62%) said this was the case. Most Republicans (75%) gave this response, compared to 54% of Democrats and 56% of independents.

Former US President Donald Trump walks to the courtroom after speaking to the press at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on February 15, 2024

Axios reported that the Biden administration is still considering a series of executive actions to stem the flow of people unlawfully entering the country.

Some analysts had considered the possibility that Biden could make such announcements at this month's State of the Union address, although that did not end up happening.

However, the outlet cited administration officials saying that didn't mean the measures were no longer in consideration, and that they could be implemented this year.

Although migratory flows were reduced in January and February (it decreased by 50% in the first month of the year compared to December 2023 and only ticked up the following month), they tend to increase in spring and summer, something that could potentially increase pressure on the Biden administration to crack down.

Among the measures considered: a sweeping presidential authority that allows him to "suspend the entry" of foreigners when it is determined that their arrival is not in the best interest of the country; and the ability to turn asylum seekers away if they cross illegally. Making it harder for asylum-seekers to pass the first interview to determine whether they can stay in the country is also under review.

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