web statsweb stats Poll: Voters (barely) reject removal of Title 42 migrant policy - FightSaga

Poll: Voters (barely) reject removal of Title 42 migrant policy

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - May 19, 2023

51% Oppose the Biden Administration’s Rescinding of the Pandemic-Era Border Policy; 46% Say Biden Has Made Immigration System Worse

In recent times, public sentiment towards President Joe Biden’s decision to remove the Title 42 border policy has shown a slight softening. However, it is noteworthy that immigration policy remains a significant political concern for both the president and the Democratic Party. According to a May 6-7 Morning Consult survey conducted, the administration’s move to rescind Title 42 is met with opposition from a significant portion of the electorate.

So, What is Title 42 and What Did it Do?

Title 42, an emergency health authority implemented during the Trump administration in March 2020, had profound consequences for migrants seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border. This policy, put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, altered the course of countless lives and evoked strong emotional responses from individuals and communities directly impacted by its enforcement.

In a pre-pandemic era, migrants who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border had the opportunity to present their asylum claims and enter the United States while their cases were being processed. However, the implementation of Title 42 changed this reality dramatically. Suddenly, migrants were met with a different fate – instead of being given the chance to seek asylum, they were turned away at the border under the guise of public health concerns due to the pandemic.

Title 42 was lifted on May 11.

Rescinding Title 42 Is Unpopular, but Slightly Less So Than in 2022:

Surveys conducted in April 2022 and May 2023, among representative samples of approximately 1,000 registered voters each, shed light on the public’s approval or disapproval of the Biden administration’s removal of border controls aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The recent survey results indicate that 51% of voters oppose the administration’s decision to remove the pandemic-era border controls initially implemented by President Donald Trump in 2020. While this figure is slightly lower than the 54% who expressed opposition in the April 2022 survey, it still reflects a significant portion of the population that disagrees with the policy change.

Partisan Divide and Changing Views

Digging deeper into the data, Democratic voters are less likely to support Biden’s move than Republicans are to oppose it, 60% to 79%. In fact, opinions among Democrats on the issue have remained relatively stable, while Republicans have shown a slight moderation in their views. Notably, independent voters have become 6 percentage points more likely to oppose the lifting of the border controls compared to the previous year, with 57% expressing disapproval. On the other hand, approximately 27% of independent voters back the removal of the Title 42 restrictions, reflecting a 4-point decline from 2022.

Overall, expiring Title 42 is supported by only 60% of Democrats, 14% of Republicans, and 27% of independents.

Title 42 News and Public Awareness

The expiration of the policy had not yet gained significant attention among the general public when a separate survey was conducted. Out of those surveyed between May 6-7, 2023, only about 20% reported being well-informed about the planned expiration of the pandemic restrictions or the administration’s deployment of 1,500 active-duty U.S. troops to manage the anticipated surge of migrants at the southern border.

Opportunity for Shifting Views:

The lack of widespread awareness indicates that there is ample room for public opinion to develop, either positively or negatively, depending on how the situation at the border unfolds following the lifting of the migration restrictions. President Biden himself acknowledged the potential for chaos in the early stages. As such, it remains to be seen how the public’s sentiment will evolve in response to the changing dynamics.

Biden’s Approval Ratings and Party Trust:

Currently, about 49% of voters disapprove of President Biden’s handling of immigration, which marks his lowest rating among the 16 issues tested.

Additionally, when it comes to dealing with immigration, Republicans in Congress are trusted more than Democrats, with a 45% to 38% margin.

While immigration may not be the primary voting issue for most Americans, 56% consider it to be “very important” at the ballot box in the upcoming year.

Comparing Biden and Trump’s Immigration Policies:

When voters were asked to compare the immigration system under Joe Biden’s presidency with that of Donald Trump’s, opinions were divided. 46% of voters believe that the immigration system has worsened under President Biden, while 47% claim it improved under President Trump.

Among independent voters, there has been a notable shift in views against Biden’s handling of immigration, with a 12-point increase (from 44% to 56%) in those who believe the system has deteriorated. Within the Democratic voter base, opinions have largely remained unchanged over the past year, with 38% expressing the belief that the system has improved, 36% stating it has stayed the same, and 15% asserting that it has worsened.


Public opinion surrounding President Biden’s decision to rescind the Title 42 border policy remains divided. While the percentage of voters opposing the move has slightly decreased compared to the previous year, it is clear that immigration policy continues to be a political concern for the president and the Democratic Party.

As the situation unfolds at the southern border following the expiration of the pandemic restrictions, the views of the electorate may continue to evolve. It is crucial for policymakers to consider these sentiments and address the concerns raised to effectively manage and navigate the complex issue of immigration.