Trump and Biden
Many Latinos are concerned that Biden has failed to deliver on the immigration reform promises he made during the campaign. AFP

Some 41% of Latino voters trust Trump on immigration the U.S. southern border crisis, compared to 38% for Biden in seven battleground states, according to an Equis poll released Tuesday, just five months before the November election.

The study, conducted with TargetSmart between April 20 and May 5 in English and Spanish, surveyed 1,592 registered Latino voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Winsconsin.

The numbers may not show much difference between the main candidates, but it's news for the United States' political scenario, which is marked by a historical preference for the Democratic Party on the issue.

"Democrats no longer hold advantage among Latino voters when it comes to handling immigration," the poll concludes.

According to the findings, there is deep concern among Latinos that "Biden and the Democrats make promises about immigration reform during the campaign, but fail to deliver once they win."

In fact, when asked about their top immigration concern, more Latinos (72%) cited "broken promises" by President Biden or the Democratic Party than the "extreme measures" that Trump or the G.O.P. might implement (64%).

16% of Latino voters say they don't trust either Biden
16% of Latino voters say they don't trust either Biden or Trump on immigration. Equis

According to this poll, a move such as Biden's new action to grant U.S. citizenship to migrant spouses could move the needle in the Latino vote, or a potential policy to ensure migrant farmworkers can continue working in essential jobs, but it could also bring a backlash among non-Hispanic Trump voters.

The document suggests that the best frame for any action, in that context, is the message "keeping American families together", which keeps the focus on immigrants who are deeply embedded in the country.

It also says that "communication in Spanish is key," as Biden's potential gains are especially pronounced among Spanish-dominant Latino voters.

A recent analysis by Axios, however, tends to downplay the results of this study, noting that previous research shows that immigration is far from being one of the most important issues for Latino voters.

The article highlights that immigration has been shown to be lower on the list of concerns among Latinos according to various Axios-Ipsos Latino Polls in partnership with Noticias Telemundo, while inflation or the economy has consistently been top of mind for Hispanic voters.

Biden launches new ad in Spanglish targeting Latinos.
Biden ad in Spanglish targeting Latinos. Video capture

"Immigration has never been the top issue for Latino voters. But at various critical moments, it played a role in differentiating between the parties for Latinos, even among those who themselves are not immigrants," the findings say.

Despite immigration being at the top of the political conversation ahead of this year's elections, "Latinos Con Biden," the President's initiative to appeal to the demographic's vote, is primarily focusing on economic and health issues.

The Biden-Harris campaign has also invested $30 million in a spring media buy, using a mix of Spanish-language accents as well as Spanglish, which is oriented to appeal to a young Latino audience.

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