March 2, 2024

Americans find there is blame to go around on Congress’ failure to pass legislation intended to decrease the number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border—with about the same number blaming the Republicans in Congress (53%), the Democrats (51%) and Biden (49%). Fewer, 39%, blame Trump.

Biden strongly supported the deal, while Trump explicitly and repeatedly called on Republicans to kill it. He expressly asked for the blame for its death to be directed at him. As the measure appeared to be dying, numerous Republicans said openly that Trump was the reason for it, even suggesting that he demanded its demise to give himself an issue against President Biden. Trump himself didn’t bother trying to hide this motive.

What’s more, Democrats get almost identical blame to Republicans, even though virtually all Senate Democrats voted for the deal, while virtually all Republicans opposed it. That’s after Democrats made the bulk of the concessions required to broker the compromise, which would have made it much harder to apply for asylum, channeled vast expenditures into fortifying the border, expanded detention of migrants, and expedited processing of asylum-seekers, including faster removal of those who don’t qualify.