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These poll numbers were released earlier today by Rasmussen Reports -- "an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information."


67% Say Military Should Be Used On Border To Stop Illegal Immigration

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of U.S. voters say military troops should be sent to the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. A new Rasmussen Reports nationwide telephone survey finds that just 18% are opposed and another 15% are not sure.

A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters all support the concept of using the troops to stop illegal immigration.

President Obama recently announced that he is sending troops to the Mexican border, but the stated purpose is to prevent the spread of drug-related violence.

The new survey also finds that just 26% of voters believe the U.S. Department of Justice should challenge the legality of Arizona's new law in federal court. Fifty-six percent (56%) oppose such a challenge, and 18% more are not sure. Earlier polling found that most Americans trust the Arizona state leaders more than leaders in Washington, DC on the topic of immigration.

The Obama administration has been highly critical of Arizona's new immigration law and is reportedly considering a variety of challenges to it. 

A senior official at the Department of Homeland Security has said that it may not process illegal immigrants sent to them by Arizona authorities. Only 24% of voters support that approach while 55% disagree and believe Homeland Security should process the illegal immigrants arrested under the new law. One-in-five voters (20%) aren't sure which course is best.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on May 26-27, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology .

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters now favor passage of a law like Arizona's in their own state, up slightly from 55% two weeks ago .  When asked specifically about the chief provision of the Arizona law, support is even higher. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters believe a police officer should be required to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation or violation of some other law if he suspects the person might be an illegal immigrant.

While most voters favor enforcement of laws against illegal immigrants, most also favor a welcoming immigration policy   that excludes only "national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system."

Boston and Los Angeles were among the first to announce boycotts of Arizona, but 68% of Americans say it's a bad idea for other cities or states to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law

Arizona legislators have said they acted because the federal government is failing to enforce immigration law and illegal immigrants are costing the state heavily both financially and in terms of public safety. Critics of the law, including the president, have said the Arizona law encourages racial profiling.

Voters across the nation are extremely skeptical about the federal government's role in the immigration debate. Three-out-of-four voters believe that the federal government is not doing enough to secure the nation's borders .  In fact, 56% believe that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration .  Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters say illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the U.S. budget

Most voters continue to say as they have for years that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers .

Among voters who are angry about immigration, 83% are angry at the federal government.   Only 12% direct their anger at the immigrants.

Obama joined with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at a White House press conference last week to denounce the Arizona law and said at that time, "In the 21st  Century, we are defined not by our borders but by our bonds."

Voters have mixed feelings about Obama's statement: 32% agree with him, but 37% disagree. Thirty percent (30%) are undecided.