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Biden’s two actions on immigration could change how American voters perceive a significant political issue for him

Migrants lineup (Via Finn West/Getty Images)

Over the past two weeks, President Joe Biden has implemented significant changes affecting immigrants: imposing stricter rules on asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border, and offering a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands already living in the country without legal status.

These dual actions, one aimed at assisting undocumented residents and the other at preventing new arrivals, present Biden with an opportunity to address a major issue that could impact his reelection campaign.

Public opinion polls show Biden receiving low ratings for his handling of immigration, with many Americans preferring the tough approach advocated by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Trump’s administration previously enforced strict policies, such as separating immigrant families, and he now proposes the largest deportation effort in U.S. history if reelected.

Joe Biden talks with the U.S. Border Patrol (Via Finn West/Getty Images)

While the White House states that these recent measures are not meant to counterbalance each other, they offer options appealing to voters who believe border enforcement should be stricter and those who support aiding undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.

These decisions reflect Biden’s broader strategy since taking office, which includes a mix of policies to curb illegal immigration while assisting long-term residents.

Critics, including Trump and leading Republicans, have criticized Biden for a surge in border encounters, alleging—without evidence—that he is facilitating an “invasion” to influence the election. Biden’s tightening of asylum regulations could potentially reduce the number of people attempting to cross the border.

Simultaneously, offering a path to citizenship for established residents may help alleviate criticism from immigration advocates and liberal factions within Biden’s own Democratic base, who opposed the recent border restriction measures introduced earlier this month.

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