Majority Disapprove of Government’s Handling of Situation at U.S.-Mexico Border: Survey

A strong majority of Americans disapprove of the way the American government is handling the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 68% of adults give the government bad marks for its handling of the situation at the country’s southern border, including 33% who say officials are doing a very bad job and 35% who say they are doing a somewhat bad job of dealing with the increased number of people seeking asylum.

Fewer than half as many, 29%, say the government is doing a very good or somewhat good job.

Partisan divides exist, with 42% of Democrats saying the government is doing a very good or somewhat good job, compared to 13% of Republicans. This is the opposite of nearly two years ago under former President Donald Trump, when 55% of Republicans approved of the border situation, compared to 15% of Democrats.

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The overall sentiment was similar, with 33% of U.S. adults saying the government was handling the border situation well.

With migrant apprehensions and unaccompanied migrant minors arriving at the southern border, Americans say increasing staffing and resources available to patrol and police the border is the most important thing for the country. More than half, 53%, say that should be the priority.

A close second, with 52%, say the U.S. needs to increase staffing and resources available to process unaccompanied minors more quickly.

The issue splitting Americans: allowing people to seek asylum in the U.S. Twenty-two percent of adults say that it is very important for the country, compared to 28% who say it is somewhat important, 24% who say it is not too important and 22% who say it isn’t important at all.

Support for a path for immigrants in the country illegally to stay in the U.S. has declined slightly, with 69% of adults saying there should be a way for them to stay in the country if requirements are met compared to 75% about a year ago and 77% four years ago. Support among Democrats has remained mostly consistent between 86% and 89%, but it has declined sharply among Republicans to 48% – a decline from 61% in 2017.

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