The polling data from the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel, published on Thursday afternoon, show increasing anxiety regarding the southern border situation is a bipartisan trend, which is certain to add weight on the Biden administration to address it.
Forty-eight percent of the more than 5,109 people examined in the poll from April 5-11 announced they think illegal immigration is now a very big problem, while 29% described it as a “moderately big problem,” and 19% considered it to be “a small problem.” Just 3% of respondents said they wouldn’t consider it a problem at all.
Almost three-quarters of the Republicans surveyed in the poll, 72%, said they think illegal immigration rises to the category of a “very big” problem, which is a 29-point jump since the last iteration of the survey in June 2020. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats responded they would label it as a "very big" problem, which is up from 15% last year.
Over this period, Republicans and Democrats have moved in opposite directions in concerns about the federal budget deficit. Currently, 71% of Republicans say the budget deficit is a very big problem; about half of Republicans (49%) said this in June 2020. By contrast, just 31% of Democrats rate the deficit as a major problem, down from 45% last year.
The percentage of people in June 2020 who classified illegal immigration as a “very big” problem was just 28%, the lowest it reached in any Pew Research poll dating back to Oct. 2016.
Pew explained that the margin of sampling error for the full sample of 5,109 respondents was 2.1 percentage points.
There has been an increase of migrants traveling to the southern border since the Biden administration took over, though defenders remark the total had been going up in the last months of the Trump administration.
Federal officials say more than 100,000 migrants were met at the border in February and more than 172,000 in March, and reports indicate an unprecedented 117,000 migrant children are set to enter the U.S. by the end of the year.
Viewing the bigger picture, according to a new poll, the share of the public saying they agree with Biden on important issues is little different from the share saying that about Trump last year. Fewer than half of Americans (44%) say they agree with Biden on all or nearly all (13%) or on many (31%) of the important issues facing the country.