The ad sounds like something out of the GOP 2024 playbook, trumpeting a senator’s work with Republicans to crack down on the flow of fentanyl and other illegal drugs into the U.S., getting tough on Chinese interests helping smugglers, and noting how he “wrote a bill signed by Donald Trump to increase funding for Border Patrol.” It's a commercial for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who faces a tough reelection fight that will help decide control of the Senate. “Ohioans trust Sherrod Brown to keep us safe,” says the narrator of the ad, sponsored by the Democrat-aligned Duty and Country PAC. The message is an indication of the political and security challenges the U.S.-Mexico border has presented for President Biden. Some Democrats are distancing themselves from the White House, and polls indicate widespread frustration with Biden’s handling of immigration and the border, creating a major liability for the president’s re-election, reports the Associated Press.
The Biden administration last week took two actions seen as moving to the right on immigration. The Department of Homeland Security waived environmental and other reviews to build new portions of a border wall in South Texas after Biden pledged during the 2020 campaign that he would build “not another foot” of wall. U.S. officials said they would resume deportations to Venezuela after the administration increased protected status for thousands of people from the country. Both moves inflamed conservatives and liberals alike. Republicans accused Biden of being too late to adopt former President Trump’s ideas on a border wall, while liberals who oppose additional border restrictions accused the White House of betraying campaign pledges. “My frustration has been that we are not addressing immigration in a holistic way as a country. We are depending on the president alone,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.), of the border city of El Paso and is a national co-chair of the Biden re-election campaign. “We are treating people from different nationalities in a different way. And the pathways that have been created are being challenged in court consistently.”