A new opinion poll by Zogby International indicates Americans are hardly pleased with the Bush administration on the subject of illegal immigration.
The poll, cited on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” program yesterday, noted a huge majority – 81 percent – believes local and state police should help federal authorities enforce laws against illegal immigration. Only 14 percent disagreed.
Voters were also asked, “Do you support or oppose the Bush administration’s proposal to give millions of illegal aliens guest worker status and the opportunity to become citizens?” Only 35 percent gave their support, and 56 percent said no.
“A majority opposed illegal immigration,” pollster John Zogby told CNN. “In fact, when you combine those two terms, ‘illegal and immigration,’ it really conjures up a considerable amount of negatives. And, in fact, we find that it’s really across the board.”
According to the report, the greatest opponents of illegal immigration are Democrats, African-Americans, women and people with household income below $75,000, those with the most to lose in the job market.
When it came to the status of the nation’s borders, respondents were asked, “Do you agree or disagree that the federal government should deploy troops on the Mexican border as a temporary measure to control illegal immigration?” A clear majority – 53 percent – agree, while 40 percent disagree.
“The Minuteman program highlighted the fact that we need more tighter border security,” Phil Kent of American Immigration Control Foundation told the network. “So I think these numbers again are good. It’s a good civics lesson for the American people. It shows our elected leaders that we want action.”
In summing up her report, CNN correspondent Lisa Sylvester noted, “So, while the public wants tougher borders, politicians are pushing to leave them open. A real disconnect.”
Dobbs responded to that statement, saying: “The disconnect that you referred to, Lisa, between our elected officials and the people of this country is in no – on no other issue any more dramatic than on the issue of illegal immigration. The Zogby poll is just simply the most recent in a string of polls that show that the American people want their borders secure, they want immigration laws to be enforced, and to clean up what has become an atrocious mess on the part of our elected representatives serving better the interests of U.S. multinationals than the people who are working for a living in this country.”
Within a week of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S., Zogby polled Americans on border security and immigration issues.
When asked whether the government was doing enough to control the border and screen those allowed into the country, 76 percent said the government was not doing enough.
Regarding future threats to the U.S., 72 percent of likely voters in 2001 said a dramatic increase in resources devoted to border control and enforcement of immigration laws would help reduce the chances of a terrorist attack in the future.