Biden has few options as immigration dominates American politics(Part-2)

Total deportations were greater under Obama's first term, which had enforcement goals like Biden's, than under Trump. Many towns and states whose leaders opposed Trump's immigration policy didn't cooperate. The U.S. has built about 450 miles (720 kilometers) of border wall by the conclusion of Trump's presidency. Many building sites have barriers.

A congressional immigration compromise that has been in the works for weeks is in peril because Trump is unwilling to give Biden a win on immigration, a topic he wants to pound as his own as he seeks reelection, and his followers are following suit. White House spokeswoman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez said Speaker Mike Johnson's House Republicans are thwarting Biden's border security initiatives.

“It’s long past time for Speaker Johnson and the House GOP to join President Biden and work across the aisle in the best interests of the majority of the American people, who support his approach,” Fernandez Hernandez said.

Johnson said Biden has adequate power to stop illegal border crossings, but without legislative support, many of his actions would be challenged in court. Trump and Biden promptly turned back migrants at the border under Title 42, COVID-19 pandemic emergency powers. Since the public health emergency is gone, Biden can't exercise those authorities.

Scottsdale's 72-year-old retired real estate agent Wayne Bowens is appalled by Biden and Trump's border maneuvers. He claimed Biden is changing his tune because he's afraid of losing and Trump wants to prevent the Senate plan to help him win. “Ukraine, Israel. People die. And yet others are thinking, ‘How many votes can I get if I play this right?’” said Bowens, a Republican who dislikes both leading candidates but will likely vote for Trump unless a third-party candidate emerges. “The world is disgusting.”

Immigration is a significant 2024 election concern. This month, an AP-NORC poll indicated 35% of respondents were concerned about immigration, up from 27% last year. In 2024, 55% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats feel the government should prioritize immigration. This is increase from 45% and 14% in December 2022. December saw a record number of Mexican border crossing arrests.

The Border Patrol made well under 250,000 Mexican border arrests in December, up 31% from 191,000 in November and 13% from 222,000 in December 2022, the previous record. Mike Madrid, a California-based Republican strategist who defeated Trump and has a book on Latino voters coming out this summer, said the border crisis puts Biden vulnerable with two voting groups he needs to win: Latinos and college-educated white Republican women.

Madrid said Biden must tighten border security and asylum, even if it angers progressives in his supporters. “It is his single biggest problem,” Madrid stated. “And it is the single biggest opportunity, because I think if he can put the Republicans on defense he can win reelection.”