Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Border Security a Priority

The Washington Times writes that (according to national polls) Americans number one priority is to secure the border:

Border security first, Americans tell polls
By Sean Lengell

Americans favor stronger border security and enforcement of existing immigration laws before any new immigration rules take effect, according to polls. But a tough stance on enforcement of U.S. policy doesn't mean the country is opposed to more immigration, pollsters say, as many surveys also show support for giving illegal aliens in the United States a path toward legal residency or citizenship. Opinion polls on the immigration debate vary and often contradict one another. But most surveys show that better border security and enforcement of current immigration law are priorities for Americans. Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults favored an "enforcement-only" approach to immigration reform with no path to citizenship for illegal aliens in the United States, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted earlier this month. When a path to citizenship for illegal aliens was added to the mix, the Rasmussen survey showed 42 percent in support and 44 percent opposed. "Enforcement of existing laws is the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 priority for immigration reform among Americans," said Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. "That's what voters think immigration reform means."

A Los Angeles Times/ Bloomberg Poll from April shows that 40 percent support an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform, with 55 percent favoring an immigration policy that includes tougher enforcement of immigration laws coupled with a guest-worker program that would allow foreigners to work legally in the United States on temporary visas. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted this month, 50 percent of those surveyed opposed the creation of a temporary-worker program that would allow foreigners to enter the United States for several months to work but would not allow them to apply for U.S. citizenship. The poll also showed 45 percent support for a 700-mile fence along the Mexico border. The same CNN/Opinion Research poll also revealed that 80 percent favored a program that would allow illegal aliens living in United States to stay and apply for U.S. citizenship if they had a job and paid back taxes. A USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted last month showed that 78 percent of respondents favored a program that would allow aliens living in the United States illegally to apply for citizenship if they met certain requirements.

"The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, but it's also a nation of laws," Mr. Rasmussen said. "It's not a conflict for Americans to want both open immigration and strict enforcement of immigration laws."

While the national polls show that Americans prefer to border security as a priority, they also believe that those who are here illegally (unlawfully) must make amends for ignoring existing immigration laws. It's a bad taste in the mouths of the working class that see any hint of a "free pass" for those who came here illegally, along with forgiveness for back taxes, social welfare giveaways, and fast-tracking the path to citizenship. Others also see the necessity of documentation for those already here.

The Senate also needs to slow down. The body that has always been considered the deliberative seems to wants to rush to political resolve like they have a hot potato in their pants. And both sides of the political spectrum are concerned with alienating a huge block of potential voters, inside and outside their "big tents".

The democratic party is (finally) figuring out that many in their voting block, (that put them into power in 06) did so because the promise of change in Iraq did not include outright surrender to a terrorist body that threatens western society. The Move-On and far left anti-war block (that has driven the Polosi-Murtha-Reid trainwreck) is losing their steam when many Americans realize that this world wide terrorism against the west is not going to go away with an outright withdrawal from the battlefield in Iraq.

The immigration issue seems to be just stuck in the forefront of foreign policy for the moment, and both partys appear to think they have the time to put it to bed before they return to priorities of securing this nations interest in the middle east. And all this while Iran gets to slide under the radar, (again).

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