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Nearly five times as many voters think border security has gotten worse over the last two years as say it has improved, according to the latest Fox News survey. In addition, a majority favors keeping Title 42 restrictions — the pandemic-era policy allowing the U.S. to remove migrants on public health grounds.
In general, voters also think immigrants help rather than hurt the country. Forty-five percent say immigrants make the U.S. a better place to live, down from a high of 51% in 2018. On the other side, 39% feel immigrants hurt the country.
The Biden administration announced that it plans to end Title 42 border restrictions in late May. Former President Trump enacted the emergency powers in April 2020, as the pandemic began.
Nearly two-thirds oppose the administration’s decision: 63% say keep the restrictions, while 27% favor lifting them.
Six in 10 have heard a great deal or some about ending Title 42, and among this subgroup a larger 72% majority opposes that decision.
By a 39-point margin, voters think border security is worse today than it was two years ago (50% worse vs. 11% better). Another 35% say it is about the same as in the final months of Trump’s tenure.
At around this same point in Trump’s presidency four years ago, border security was seen as better by an 11-point margin (28% better, 17% worse), and 50% said about the same (June 2018).
Overall, 61% of voters disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration. Inflation is the only issue where he receives higher negative marks, with 67% of voters disapproving.
Democrats (71%) are far more likely than Republicans (22%) to say immigrants are a positive for the country.
When it comes to pandemic-related health restrictions, partisan-driven contradictions abound.
Among Republicans, almost as many favor keeping the pandemic border restrictions in place (77%) as favor lifting federal mask mandates for travelers (71%).
For Democrats, nearly half, 49%, support keeping Title 42 rules, while 62% favor keeping traveler mask mandates. Forty percent favor ending Title 42 rules.
Many voters are concerned about illegal immigration, yet it isn’t a top-tier worry, with 71% extremely or very concerned about it. That puts it below concerns like the future of the country (87%), inflation (87%), the future of American democracy (84%), political divisions (81%), Russia/Ukraine (80%), and crime (79%) — above climate change (57%) and coronavirus (55%) — and about on par with book bans (67%), abortion (69%), the opioid addiction crisis (72%), guns laws (73%), and what’s taught in schools (74%).
Out of 14 items, illegal immigration is the lowest concern among Democrats (54%) and a top-tier concern among Republicans (88%).
Conducted April 28-May 1, 2022 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,003 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.