In interviews with a dozen Democrats and Republicans — including GOP strategists, Biden advisers and immigration advocates who work with the White House — a picture emerges not just of a Republican Party eager to leverage a policy point that worked well for Trump in his first run for office, but of a Biden White House that was ill-prepared for them to do that. Several Democrats and immigration activists who support Biden said they have grown frustrated that the White House has failed to respond to the attacks more forcefully and fully embrace pro-immigration policies.
In virtual briefings, the advocacy group Immigration Hub recently urged the White House and committees working to elect Democrats in 2022 not to back away from supporting expansive immigration proposals, such as a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, and to clearly explain what specifically can be done to help on the border, including new shelters for children, technology to stop would-be border crossers and addressing the root causes of migration, according to a person familiar with the briefings.
In a five-page memo obtained by POLITICO, Immigration Hub cited internal polling that indicates immigration could be politically helpful to Democrats if they can better explain their policies. Sixty-three percent of nationwide voters, for example, approve of Biden’s approach to the border when introduced to it while 28 percent disapprove.