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Biden's 2 steps on immigration could reframe how US voters see a major political problem for him

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Biden's 2 steps on immigration could reframe how US voters see a major political problem for him
News

News

Biden's 2 steps on immigration could reframe how US voters see a major political problem for him

2024-06-22 01:29 Last Updated At:01:30

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. while also offering potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country.

The tandem actions — the first to help immigrants illegally in the U.S., the second to prevent others from entering at the border — give the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign.

Americans give Biden poor marks for his handling of immigration and favor the approach of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose administration imposed hardline policies such as separating immigrant families and who now has proposed the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if elected again.

While the White House said its most recent actions aren't meant to counterbalance each other, the election-year policy changes offer something both for voters who think border enforcement is too lenient and for those who support helping immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally. They echo the White House's overall approach since Biden took office, using a mix of policies to restrict illegal immigration and offer help to people already in the country.

Trump and top Republicans have ripped Biden for record-high numbers of encounters at the border, with some suggesting without evidence that Biden is abetting a so-called “invasion” to affect the election. Tightening asylum rules as Biden did could reduce border crossings.

Helping people long established in the country obtain citizenship, meanwhile, might defuse criticism of immigration advocates and liberal parts of Biden's Democratic coalition who opposed the new border restrictions unveiled earlier this month.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted in March found that only about 3 in 10 Americans approved of Biden’s handling of immigration. A similar share approved of his handling of border security. In the same poll, about half of U.S. adults said that Biden is extremely or very responsible for the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, compared to about one-third who said Trump was extremely or very responsible.

Biden's latest action was endorsed by Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York, a moderate Democrat who won a special election in February to replace expelled former Republican Rep. George Santos. Suozzi's race centered heavily on immigration and New York City’s struggles to accommodate thousands of immigrants bused there from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Suozzi described first being elected mayor of Glen Cove, New York, in 1994 and helping organize centers to assist groups of immigrants waiting on street corners for day-laborer jobs, which he said still informs how he sees the issue.

“The reality is, those same guys that were on the street corners in 1994, today own their own businesses, own their own homes and their kids went to school with my kids,” Suozzi said on a call with reporters. “We’ve got to take action. People are sick of this.”

Van Callaway, a hairstylist from Mesa, Arizona, who voted for Biden four years ago, was disappointed to hear the president was making it harder to claim asylum. But they were also skeptical that the president's plan to help legalize spouses who are married to U.S. citizens could come to fruition.

“I wish that it was an easier process so people who need to be here could be here,” said Callaway, 29. “And I wish that there was more love and acceptance about it. And more empathy. I feel like if there was a lot empathy on immigration as a whole, the world would be a lot better.”

The Department of Homeland Security estimates that around 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens will be protected under Biden's latest action, as will 50,000 children of a noncitizen parent. The White House said those benefiting have been in the U.S. for an average of 23 years.

That won’t be the case for most of the new arrivals to the U.S.-Mexico border who find themselves unable to apply because of Biden’s other executive action. The White House notes, however, that it has taken several other actions to make it easier for new immigrants to enter the country.

With congressional Republicans “refusing to address our broken immigration system,” the administration “has taken action to secure our border and to keep American families together in the United States,” said Angelo Fernández Hernández, a White House spokesman.

That includes creating a program last year allowing people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to come to the U.S. if they have a financial sponsor, pass a background check and fly into a U.S. airport — which nearly 435,000 people had used by the end of April. The administration also expanded H-2 temporary work visa programs, and established processing centers away from the U.S. border, in countries including Guatemala and Columbia.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson nonetheless accused Biden of “trying to play both sides.”

And Trump dismissed Biden’s action on asylum as “all for show,” suggesting the president is “giving mass amnesty and citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegals who he knows will ultimately vote for him.”

Callaway said deciding whom to vote for this year will be excruciating, “a real hard conundrum.” They’re worried about Trump’s second-term agenda but also furious about Biden’s approach to Israel's war in Gaza, and not excited to support a third-party candidate who probably can’t win. More harsh border policies would be another knock against Biden, they said.

“They’ll tell you what you want to hear, but they’re not often going to follow through on it,” Callaway said. “It feels like the things they follow through on are fueled by prejudice and this weird sense of victimhood."

—-

Weissert reported from Washington.

FILE - Migrants seeking asylum line up while waiting to be processed after crossing the border June 5, 2024, in San Diego, Calif. Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and then offered potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country. The two actions in tandem gives the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

FILE - Migrants seeking asylum line up while waiting to be processed after crossing the border June 5, 2024, in San Diego, Calif. Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and then offered potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country. The two actions in tandem gives the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with the U.S. Border Patrol and local officials, as he looks over the southern border, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas, along the Rio Grande. Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and then offered potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country. The two actions in tandem gives the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with the U.S. Border Patrol and local officials, as he looks over the southern border, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas, along the Rio Grande. Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and then offered potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country. The two actions in tandem gives the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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Brian Harman starts his British Open title defense by returning the claret jug

2024-07-16 02:18 Last Updated At:02:21

TROON, Scotland (AP) — Of all the recent traditions in the Royal & Ancient game, what Brian Harman took part in on Monday afternoon might be the least enjoyable.

Returning the claret jug.

The formal handover of the British Open trophy required a little pomp. Harman was in the back seat of an SUV. The destination was not much longer than the 40-foot birdie putt he made last year on the 14th hole on his way to winning the Open. But he had to wait for the film crew to be set, for the traffic on the road to clear.

“It's all yours,” Harman told Martin Slumbers, the R&A CEO who took back golf's oldest trophy that apparently has seen its share of the finest wine and bourbon in the year since Harman won at Royal Liverpool.

Harman is a straight shooter — with a rifle, with his mouth and last year with his putter — but a staged moment as this didn't bother him.

“In my opinion, it's the coolest trophy in all of sports,” Harman said. “So I think it's deserving of all of the pageantry that's involved with it."

Getting it back by the end of the week is the real challenge.

The homecoming of the claret jug was an unofficial way to launch the start of the final men's major of the year. The 152nd Open Championship begins Thursday on the Scottish links along the Firth of Clyde on the Irish Sea.

Royal Troon is renowned for its pot bunkers that are so deep they effectively serve as a one-shot penalty when tee shots find them on the longer holes. The outward holes are shorter with the prevailing wind, the inward holes are longer and into the wind.

“You have to take them on,” Scottie Scheffler said.

Harman had gone six years without a win until putting together a masterpiece last year to lead over the final 51 holes and win by six. He hasn't won since then, a matter of getting his putter to cooperate. He hopes that's the case this week.

“You can work and work and work. You just never know when that work is going to pay off,” Harman said. “You never know when the peak is coming. You never know when you’re going to catch a little bit of momentum. So you just have to hope it’s a big week.”

No one has won back to back in the British Open since Padraig Harrington in 2007 (Carnoustie) and 2008 (Royal Birkdale). Go back to 1960 and the list of repeat winners includes only Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer.

“A little sad to give it back, but I’ll remember everywhere it’s been forever,” Harman said. “I’m happy to give it back, happy to be here. Ready to get going.”

Royal Troon is green and lush, and the rough is particularly thick at the base of turf. This isn't likely to be a bright and sunny week along the Ayrshire coast, and the links have been busy.

Woods arrived Sunday and went 18 holes, spending much of his time chipping and putting. His son Charlie is not with him, instead at home preparing for the U.S. Junior Amateur next week outside Detroit.

Scheffler got into the competitive spirit, playing alongside Sam Burns as they took some cash from PGA champion Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay.

After handing off the jug, Harman headed out to see Royal Troon for the first time. Monday was largely a day of reflection and he was eager to move forward.

But it was a good year, even without another win. He took the jug to Georgia Bulldogs football and Atlanta Braves baseball games. He took it everywhere he could, a reminder of reaching the pinnacle of his sport.

“You never know how it’s going to go, but just the reception from everyone back home was overwhelming, just how excited everyone was,” he said. “I was obviously very excited, but to be able to share that excitement with people that I care about was probably the best.”

Harman was among several players who came across the coast from the Scottish Open last week, a list that included Robert MacIntyre, though his immediately whereabouts could not be confirmed. MacIntyre won the Scottish with an eagle-par-birdie finish and promised he would “celebrate hard” as the first Scot to win his national open in 25 years.

He was scheduled for a press conference Monday afternoon. It was rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon. That was a big win for him. Next up is one even bigger.

AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

Justin Thomas of the United States plays out of a bunker on the 5th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Justin Thomas of the United States plays out of a bunker on the 5th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays of of a bunker on the 14th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays of of a bunker on the 14th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Xander Schauffele of the United States tees off from the16th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Xander Schauffele of the United States tees off from the16th hole during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Tiger Woods, center, watches US golfer Justin Thomas, right, during a practice round ahead of The Open at Royal Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (Steve Welsh/PA via AP)

Tiger Woods, center, watches US golfer Justin Thomas, right, during a practice round ahead of The Open at Royal Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (Steve Welsh/PA via AP)

Tiger Woods of the United States puts on the 10th green during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Tiger Woods of the United States puts on the 10th green during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Tiger Woods of the United States chips onto the 6th green during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Tiger Woods of the United States chips onto the 6th green during a practice round for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The 18th green at the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The 18th green at the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Sunday, July 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The 2023 Open Champion Brian Harman of the United States speaks during a press conference at the media tent for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

The 2023 Open Champion Brian Harman of the United States speaks during a press conference at the media tent for the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Troon golf club in Troon, Scotland, Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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