Immigration and Border Security: Key Issues Shaping the 2024 Election

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 01/05/2024
The upcoming election year, which will have a significant impact on the control of the White House and both houses of Congress, has brought immigration and the escalating number of illegal crossings at the southern border into the spotlight on Capitol Hill and throughout the campaign trail. Several events in the first week of 2024 highlight the increasing significance of immigration and border security as key political concerns that will shape government operations leading up to the presidential election in November.

Mike Johnson of Louisiana, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was one of the sixty House Republicans who recently made a visit to the southern border. They criticized the president's immigration policy and urged him to adhere to strict regulations in exchange for increased funding for Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine.

During that trip, House Republicans announced their intention to initiate impeachment proceedings against Alejandro Mayorkas. They allege that his alleged neglect of duty has endangered American lives and cities. Both incidents occurred during the bipartisan group of Senate negotiators' efforts to reach a consensus on immigration and border measures that include certain restrictions that President Joe Biden and other Democrats may have previously opposed.

The House's H.R. 2, which has been deemed crucial by certain Republican legislators in order to secure their vote, is stricter compared to the limitations set by the Senate. Some members have proposed connecting the limits of H.R. 2 to the ongoing negotiations in order to avoid a potential government shutdown. The situation is already precarious, with time running out and various political interests at odds.

There is a concern that the impeachment of Mayorkas could potentially hinder the chances of reaching a consensus and taking action before November. The administration has previously criticized GOP demands to connect border funding to government funding packages and military aid, and it has also denounced the impeachment as a political maneuver. In addition, there has been a disagreement between the White House and Texas Governor Greg Abbott regarding the approach to managing the border between the United States and Mexico.

"They took action to resolve an issue by leaving in the middle of December, while the Senate side was engaged in discussions." According to Jean Karine-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, there seems to be a political agenda at play. "Their actions speak for themselves."

Aside from facing pressure from Republicans regarding immigration, Biden is also facing criticism from members of his own party. Democratic mayors of major cities are grappling with the ongoing challenge of managing a steady influx of migrants from hundreds of miles away at the southern border. This has led to overcrowded shelters and strained local and state resources. Democratic lawmakers in Congress have urged him to make compromises in order to reach a resolution.

Republicans are looking to exploit this matter as a potential weapon against Joe Biden in 2024, given the significant influx of individuals crossing the southern border and seeking asylum. According to political science professor and Meredith Poll director David McLennan, those in the House have significant influence on the issue due to Biden's fragility.

In November, it is possible that Biden and Democrats farther down the ticket may have a less favorable stance on immigration. As the border issue persists, surveys indicate a decline in Biden's support for immigration. According to a recent Pew study, a majority of voters expressed doubt regarding his ability to make appropriate immigration policy decisions. On the same day, Monmouth released a poll revealing that 69% of respondents expressed their disagreement with his immigration policies.

Several recent events have brought attention to the challenges Biden is currently grappling with, and he has acknowledged the need for finding a middle ground to address the problem. He has urged Republicans to approve the supplemental budget bill, which allocates funds for enhanced border security.

On Tuesday night, Biden expressed the need for immediate action to reporters. According to him, it is necessary for them to provide the funds required to ensure border security.

Johnson argues that there is a lack of funding and urges the White House to make policy adjustments that align with the immigration agenda of President Donald Trump.

Despite the immense pressure, finding a viable path forward for any measure to gain approval from a divided Congress and receive the president's signature remains elusive. Navigating political differences in policy becomes significantly more difficult during a year marked by a presidential election and competing interests for control of the government.

"After the calendar turned to 2024, every aspect was seen in relation to the election, which led Republicans to withhold support from Biden on matters such as the border, immigration, the economy, and more," McLennan explained.


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