Most voters say GOP governors were justified in shipping illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, according to new polling that shows Americans felt the states had no choice but to share the pain of the current chaos at the border.
By a two-to-one margin, voters said the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border is a bigger problem than the governors’ shipping of migrants.
And more than 60% of voters said it was “hypocritical” of sanctuaries like Washington, Chicago and New York to complain about the migrants being bused to them, according to polling done earlier this week by RMG Research for the American First Policy Institute, a conservative think tank led by former Trump administration leaders.
The Washington Times obtained a copy of a polling memo detailing the findings.
“Sending illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities is politically popular,” the memo concluded.
The poll was taken a week after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s high-profile move to take immigrants in Texas who said they were bound for Florida and instead get them to fly to Massachusetts. They were dropped off at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the nation’s liberal elite.
That followed months of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey busing migrants out of their states.
Among likely voters, 55% approved of the busing campaign. And 63% of all voters agreed with the statement that busing was the only way to draw attention to the problems at the border. Just 25% disagreed.
The White House has been vocal in criticizing the governors.
President Biden said busing migrants was “simply wrong, it’s un-American, it’s reckless.”
He insisted they have things under control.
“We have a process in place to manage migrants at the border. We’re working to make sure it’s safe and orderly and humane. Republican officials should not interfere with that process by waging these political stunts,” he said.
Voters aren’t convinced.
More than 60% of voters believe drug cartels have control of the border, compared to just 19% who believe the U.S. government is on top of things.
And by 54% to 28%, voters doubted the administration was serious about wanting to secure the border and cut illegal immigration.
Mr. Biden’s criticism was shared this week by an unlikely ally — Jared Kushner, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who said Mr. DeSantis was using the migrants “as political pawns.”
“We have to remember that these are human beings,” he said.
Sanctuary cities that have been targeted for migrant busing have pleaded for federal money to help them accommodate the newcomers, complaining that their homeless shelters are overwhelmed.
Border communities say they’ve been asking for assistance for more than a year, with no response. That’s one reason the governors in Arizona and Texas began the busing operation.
They also argue the Biden administration should change its policies to prevent the surge from coming in the first place.
The new polling memo said 63% of those surveyed said the border states deserve help to deal with the wave of illegal immigration. Just 24% said the states should have to deal with it on their own.
The poll included 1,200 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.