Immigration nears top of list of urgent issues for Americans, overtaking Ukraine: poll

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Immigration is now one of the top urgent issues for Americans, overtaking the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but staying behind inflation, according to a new poll released this week.

The Quinnipiac University poll found that inflation is by far the most urgent issue for voters — with 31% of those polled saying it was their most urgent issue. In second was immigration (10%) followed by election laws (8%) and Ukraine, with 7%.

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In a similar poll a month ago, inflation was the top issue for 30% of Americans, followed by Russia/Ukraine (14%) and then immigration with 9%.

June 10, 2021: A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum.   

June 10, 2021: A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum.   
((AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File))

The poll comes amid growing bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill and elsewhere about the looming end to the Title 42 public health order, which has been used since March 2020 to expel a majority of migrants at the southern border.

Even before that announcement earlier this month that the order will end of May 23, the U.S. was facing historic, overwhelming numbers at the southern border — with more than 221,000 migrant encounters in March alone.

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While the Biden administration has said it has the situation under control, it has conceded that a migrant surge will strain resources and has been planning for contingencies of up to 18,000 migrants a day. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have sponsored legislation to delay the lifting of the order, while Republican states have sued in an effort to block the administration from lifting the order.

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However, in the poll there was still a partisan split on the level of concern that immigration was causing. For Republicans, inflation was the top urgent issue (44%), with immigration second (19%.) For Democrats, inflation was also the top issue (19%), but immigration was not in the top five issues, beaten out by climate change, gun violence, Ukraine and election laws. Only 4% of Democrats said it was the most urgent issue.

Among independents, inflation was also the top issue (32%), election laws were second (10%) and immigration was third with 8%.

Mojtaba Sadira

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