Poll: Americans sour on immigration under Biden border policies

The decreased satisfaction comes alongside a spike in illegal immigration since President Joe Biden took office.
Joe Biden, Feb. 4, 2023, Hagerstown, Md.

Newly released polling data shows that as people living in or entering the country illegally continues to soar, Americans’ feelings on the issue are changing.

Gallup released new polling data showing that Americans’ satisfaction with the current immigration level has declined to 28%, a 6-point drop.

“This is the lowest reading in a decade, though not the least satisfied Americans have been on this issue over the past 23 years,” Gallup said. “U.S. public satisfaction with immigration was scarcest in 2007 and 2008, at 23% and 24%, respectively, whereas it reached 40% to 41% at its highest, in 2017 and 2018.”

The decreased satisfaction comes alongside a spike in illegal immigration since President Joe Biden took office.

Data from U.S. Custom and Border Protection showed at least 156,274 people entered the country last month alone. Illegal immigration at the southern border has roughly quadrupled since 2020, though it fluctuates month to month.

The numbers are setting records in many states.

That influx is expected to rise even more if Title 42 is lifted. The measure is a Trump-era border policy that allowed border agents to expel migrants in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The rising illegal immigration has led to more political tension on the issue, including on full display during Biden's State of the Union address last week.

When Biden lamented the fentanyl crisis during his speech, Republicans shouted out, making clear they thought he was to blame for allowing illegal immigration to spike. Fentanyl is largely transported across the southern border by drug cartels.

Fentanyl overdoses have spiked alongside the immigration, which could be changing Americans’ opinions on the issue as well.

“The flip side of 28% of Americans being satisfied with immigration is that 63% are dissatisfied,” Gallup said. “In a follow-up question, most of the dissatisfied group (64%, equivalent to 40% of U.S. adults) say they want immigration decreased. Far fewer, 8% of Americans, are dissatisfied because they want it increased, while the remaining 15% are dissatisfied but want the level to remain the same or are unsure. The percentage who are dissatisfied out of a desire for less immigration has risen sharply over the past two years, increasing from 19% in 2021 to 35% in 2022 and 40% today.”