SA correspondent took the pulse of Americans in El Paso, a border city in the US state of Texas neighboring Mexico, during the primary elections dubbed "Super Tuesday".

With 8 months to go before the presidential election, polls conducted by various polling firms show that the economy and illegal immigrants are among the issues that voters care most about.

Knowing the importance of immigration, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visited the Mexican border on the same day before the primaries in 15 major states, dubbed "Super Tuesday".

Trump promised to crack down on illegal crossings and repatriate illegals if elected president and accused President Biden of flooding the country with migrants through his open-door policy.

Biden, on the other hand, defended the $118 billion "border security and foreign aid" package they presented to Congress. The Biden administration tried to kill two birds with one stone by squeezing the border security budget into the military aid package to Ukraine and Israel.

However, at Trump's urging, Republicans voted against the bill and it was defeated. In his speech in Brownsville, Texas, Biden blamed his Republican rival Trump for the bill's failure.

The mutual accusations of the two presidential candidates actually reveal the electoral strategy of the parties on illegal immigration.

Voters agree that illegal immigration is a problem

Republican and Democratic voters seem to agree that illegal immigration is a problem, even if they have different views on how to solve it.

One of the locations where AA is covering the "Super Tuesday" primaries is the border city of El Paso, Texas. Texas, one of the largest states in the US, is also the driving force of the country's economy. Although the vast majority of voters are traditionally Republican, the border city of El Paso has a Democratic majority.

Speaking to AA, an anonymous Republican voter listed the country's most important problems as "the economy, immigration and veterans' rights".

Explaining that the US is a country of immigrants but everything should be within the legal framework, a retired soldier from the US army said, "The immigration issue is a very important issue for me. Because they are hurting our economy and they are giving the privileges that they should give to veterans to those who come illegally from abroad."

Stating that the US military works to protect the borders of various countries around the world but cannot protect its own borders, the retired soldier criticized the Biden administration's failure to secure the Mexican border while helping Ukraine and Israel.

The retired soldier expressed his belief that the Biden administration is spending money on immigrants that should be spent on American citizens.

Paola Chavez, a retired Democratic voter, said, "I believe there is money being spent where it shouldn't be spent. The border wall is one of them. I think this money should have been spent on helping people, on technology. Not on a stupid wall that prevents even wolves from migrating." She criticized the Trump administration's border wall project.

Another retired woman voter said, "I want change. I am not happy with the way things are going these days. There should be new faces. I think almost everything needs to change, immigration and the border..."

"We voted for other things, they used this authority against our wishes." The female voter stated that she voted for Biden but was not satisfied with his administration.

Rick Floris emphasized that illegal immigration is a problem and stated that he does not believe that there will be a change while there is this conflict between the parties, but something must be done.

The reason for the increase in the number of illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border

The entire southern land border of the US with Mexico is 3,145 kilometers long.

The states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California are located on this border line.

With the Covid-19 outbreak, former US President Trump sent back immigrants arriving in the country as of March 2020, citing Article 42 of the Health Law on epidemics.

After the pandemic, illegal crossings from the Mexican border increased with the expiration of Article 42 after May 2023.

According to US Border Patrol data, the highest number of 250,000 people was reached in a month in December 2023.

Republicans argue that the number of illegal immigrants entering the country during the Biden administration exceeded 7 million.