WASHINGTON, DC — More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden is handling the sharply increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and approval of his efforts on larger immigration policy falls short of other top issues.
That suggests it could be a weak point for the new administration.
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 40% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of children reaching the nation’s southern border without their parents.
That’s compared with just 24% who approve.
At the same time, 59% say providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children when they are apprehended should be a high priority.
Former President Donald Trump built his presidency around hard-line policies that expanded and fortified border walls, made it tougher for people fleeing drug violence and other desperate circumstances in Mexico and Central America to seek U.S. asylum and separated immigrant families.
Biden has tried to seize political momentum on the issue by promising a more humane and orderly system, but his administration has struggled to cope with rising numbers of migrants coming to the border, especially unaccompanied children.
(Editor's note: Below are some key breakouts on the polling data.)