Biden's approval rating at 40%, Americans concerned about immigration - Reuters/Ipsos
By Jason Lange
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's public approval was at 40% in recent days, close to the lowest level of his presidency, with Americans unhappy about his handling of immigration and inflation, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
The three-day poll, which ended on Sunday, showed a marginal increase in Biden's popularity from last month, when 39% of respondents said they approved of his performance as president. The poll has a margin of error of three percentage points.
The economy remained respondents' top concern amid high rates of inflation and a push by central bankers to tame prices by raising interest rates, which has made mortgages and car loans costlier.
The looming Thursday expiration of COVID-19 rules that have blocked many foreigners from crossing into the United States to seek asylum has also become a subject of concern. Long lines of migrants have amassed this week in the Mexican border city of Tijuana waiting for the policy to expire.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 54% of respondents - including 77% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats - were against raising the number of immigrants allowed into the country every year.
Only 26% said they approved of Biden's handling of immigration.
Sixty-six percent of respondents support sending active duty U.S. soldiers to the border to support Border Patrol agents.
The Pentagon announced this month that Biden's administration will temporarily send 1,500 additional troops to help secure the border in preparation for the lifting of the COVID-19 border restrictions.
The president is seeking re-election next year and immigration is primed to be an important issue in the contest. Republicans accuse him of being soft on immigration, though his administration has planned to send additional troops to assist in securing the border.
The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump, made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his administration.
Biden is also facing criticism from Republicans over government spending, which surged in recent years - including during the Trump administration - as the government spent freely fighting COVID-19.
Biden is due to meet with Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday to discuss an impasse over the federal debt ceiling. Failing to lift the borrowing limit could lead Washington to start falling behind on its bills as soon as June 1, the Treasury Department has warned.
Fifty-four percent of respondents in the Reuters/Ipsos poll said they were opposed to raising the debt ceiling, including 59% of respondents who don't have a college degree. Among those with a degree, 44% were opposed to raising the borrowing limit.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,022 U.S. adults, using a nationally representative sample.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell)