A new survey found that 42 million people from Latin America and the Caribbean region want to immigrate to the United States.
“There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Roughly 450 million adults live in the region. Gallup asked them if they would like to move to another country permanently if they could,” said Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, whose company conducted the poll, in an article on March 24. “A whopping 27 [percent] said ‘yes.’ This means roughly 120 million would like to migrate somewhere.
“Of those who want to leave their country permanently, 35 percent—or 42 million—said they want to go to the United States.”
The poll comes as a surge of illegal immigrants attempt to cross the U.S.–Mexico border in recent weeks; White House officials have advised the people that the border is closed and not to come.
This week, a Democratic congressman whose district lies along the border released striking images showing children in cramped quarters and sleeping on the ground in a runoff facility operated by Border Patrol in Donna, Texas. The following day, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released photos showing long lines to the bathroom, children sleeping in fenced-off areas, and small children in play areas.
Some reporters have accused the White House of a lack of transparency over the border facilities, with some pointing out that the media wasn’t denied access during the Trump, Obama, or Bush administrations.
Other polls have suggested that Americans increasingly disapprove of how President Joe Biden is dealing with the border situation. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released last week found that only 41 percent of Americans support Biden’s handling of immigration, while 45 percent don’t support how the issue is being handled.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other White House officials have said former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies are the reason for the surge in migration and how children are being housed. But Republicans have said that it’s because Biden rescinded several of Trump’s key immigration policies.
“I’ve been to border facilities under the Obama admin and Trump admin. The media was always allowed to join us. It is only the Biden administration that has engaged in a media blackout,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote on Twitter on March 23.