Golden/TIPP poll: More Americans oppose than support repealing Title 42

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

More Americans (43%) oppose ending Title 42, while 39% support the move. The opinion divides along party and ideological lines. That’s the key finding of a Golden/TIPP survey of 1,305 adults nationwide conducted in early April.

What Is Title 42?

Title 42 comes from a 1944 public health law that aims to avert the spread of infectious diseases. Starting in March 2020, amid the pandemic, the Trump administration used the law to send back migrants arriving at the southern border. The Biden administration continued the practice. In all, 2 million migrants returned under Title 42.

Since the pandemic is ending, the Biden administration wants to end Title 42 and accept migrants starting May 23. Such a move would attract a flood of migrants at the southern border. The government estimates that each day 18,000 migrants would arrive at the border. The administration lacks a solid plan for handling the anticipated surge. Some believe that ending Title 42 would lead to unimaginable chaos.

Where Do Americans Stand?

To understand where Americans stand on this issue, we posed the following questions to the survey respondents: The current administration intends to repeal Title 42, which has kept migrants waiting to cross America’s southern border in Mexico. According to estimates, 500,000 migrants may cross the border into America in the six weeks following the repeal of Title 42, beginning May 1. Do you support or oppose repealing Title 42?

The results showed that 39% support the move, while 43% oppose it. The finer breakdown:

  • 19.2% support strongly,
  • 19.4% support somewhat,
  • 14.1% oppose somewhat,
  • 28.5% oppose strongly, and
  • 18.7% were not sure.

We note that one in five (19%) were “not sure.” As the topic gets more media coverage, the current data will likely change in the forthcoming weeks.

Under The Hood

Most Democrats (59%) want to end Title 42, while 24% oppose it. Most Republicans (67%) oppose repealing Title 42. Only 21% support ending it. About one-half (49%) of Independents oppose the repeal, while 30% support the move.

The results show similar divisions on ideological lines. Conservatives oppose 63% to 28%; liberals support ending 61% to 23%.  More moderates oppose (39%) than support (38%).

Age And Gender

The data shows an interesting division by age and gender. As age increases, the share of Americans who oppose ending Title 42 increases:

  • 22% of the 18-24 age group oppose ending
  • 29% of the 25 to 44 age group oppose the repeal
  • 51% of the 45 to 64 age group oppose ending
  • 62% of those in the 65+ group oppose ending.

Men oppose ending 45% to 44%, while the division among women is more pronounced; women oppose ending 42% to 34%.

Area of Residence and Race

The more urban an area, the more likely is the support to end Title 42.

  • Rural areas oppose ending 56% to 27%
  • Suburban areas oppose ending 47% to 32%
  • Urban areas support ending 55% to 29%

There are also stark differences by race. Whites oppose ending 52% to 32%. But, Blacks support ending 51% to 25%. Hispanics also support ending with a wide margin of 57% to 24%.

Repealing Title 42 without an alternate plan would lead to chaos. A porous border is conducive to drug smuggling and sex trafficking.

The optics of an unprecedented migrant surge would not go well with voters who would blame the Democrats for it. Ending Title 42 would thus serve as the last nail in the coffin to seal the Democrats’ defeat in November’s midterm election.

In the nation’s best interests, the Biden administration must develop a solid plan to handle the flood of migrants before ending Title 42.



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