A significant majority of Americans object to President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration in a blow to his November re-election chances, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press/NORC survey found 68 percent of adults aged 18 and over across the United States disapprove of Biden’s immigration policy, versus just 31 percent who approve. Even among Democratic voters only 56 percent believe the president has handled the issue well.

Illegal migration is likely to be a major issue of the 2024 presidential election with Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, making it a key focus of his bid for a second term in the White House. A recent study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies, which campaigns for tighter border restrictions, estimated 3.7 million migrants have entered the U.S. illegally since Biden assumed office in January 2021.

The AP/NORC poll also found 48 percent of Americans think Biden is either “extremely” or “very” responsible for the current border situation, against 35 percent who hold this view about Trump. Some 53 percent of Americans want to cut the “number of immigrants allowed to seek asylum” while 42 percent want a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In total 1,282 adults aged over 18 were surveyed for the poll between March 21 and 25.

Similarly a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January found 45 percent of adult Americans view “the large number of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. at the border with Mexico” as a “crisis” with another 32 percent deeming it a “major problem.” By contrast only 17 percent view it as a “minor problem” and four percent as “not a problem.”

Even among Democratic-supporting or leaning voters 66 percent think the border situation is either a crisis or major problem, versus 33 percent who think it is either a minor issue or no issue at all. A majority of white, Black, Hispanic and Asian voters all said the issue is a crisis or major problem.

Only six percent of Black and Hispanic voters, and three percent of white and Asian voters, said illegal migration from Mexico is “not a problem.” Among voters aged 65 and older, 93 percent said the border situation is either a crisis or major problem, with 59 percent of those aged from 18-29 also holding this view. Pew Research Center polled 5,140 U.S. adults between January 16 and 21.

Newsweek contacted the White House press office for comment at 6:40 a.m. ET on Monday. This article will be updated if they decide to comment.

A group of migrants are processed by Border Patrol on February 4, 2024 outside Eagle Pass, Texas (left) and Joe Biden walking to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on March 29,…


SERGIO FLORES/AFP/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/GETTY

Speaking to the AP news agency, Vetress Boyce, a racial justice campaigner from Chicago, claimed the focus on migrants is detracting resources and attention from the Black community.

She said: “They’re sending us people who are starving, the same way Blacks are starving in this country. They’re sending us people who want to escape the conditions and come here for a better lifestyle when the ones here are suffering and have been suffering for over 100 years.

“That recipe is a mixture for disaster. It’s a disaster just waiting to happen.”

The migrant situation has caused tensions to surge between Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, and the Biden administration. In January Abbott claimed Texas was being subject to an “invasion” and invoked its “constitutional authority to defend and protect itself” after the Supreme Court ruled federal agents could remove razor-wire placed along the border by National Guard troops.

In late March, Texan authorities announced another 700 soldiers, from the National Guard and newly formed Texas Tactical Border Force, were being sent to reinforce the border.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, 68,260 irregular migrants were encountered by law enforcement along the Texas-Mexico border in January, down from 149,806 encounters in December.