Significant shift in public opinion on border security
This isn;t surprising, given the mess on our border. But Democrats and Republicans who have been pushing a more open borders approach to immigration should take heed.
A new CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans think border security should be the top priority for government and that granting legal status to immigrants should be secondary:
The current crisis on the nation's southern border appears to be fueling a notable shift in American attitudes toward immigration policy with border security growing in importance, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released on Thursday also indicates that a majority of those surveyed support making it easier for the United States to return migrant youth from Central America who have surged across the U.S. border with Mexico this year.
But according to the survey, a bare majority views the children as refugees rather than illegal immigrants, and most say they'd be willing to have the federal government temporarily relocate some of the children to their communities or their city.
The influx of children trying to cross the southern border, many of them unaccompanied, has been a major media story over the past month. The White House and many Democrats have clashed with Republicans in Congress and governors over who is to blame and what should be done about it.
According to the poll, 51% now say the government's focus, when it comes to immigration policy, should be formulating a plan to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants. Forty-five percent say the top priority should be developing a plan that would allow undocumented immigrants who have jobs to become legal residents.
That's a change from February, when Americans said 54%-41% that legal status trumped border security.
"In the early part of this decade, a solid majority consistently said that the main focus of the U.S. government should be stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and deporting those already in the country. But in 2012, that flipped dramatically, with a solid majority believing that the government's main focus should be on a plan to allow illegal immigrants to become legal U.S. residents," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Now - and in a matter of months - the pendulum has swung back."
The government tried to hide the extent of the crisis for months, knowing that the problem was getting worse but doing nothing about it. This is the reason why. They knew it would flip public opinion on immigration and the president desperately wanted his immigration bill to pass. That is not going to happen now, and is not likely to occur until the Federal government demonstrates that it has the will to impose our sovereignty on the borders.
As for the political ramifications, immigration is now a top concern of the American voter and, as evidenced by this poll, voters believe border security should be the number one priority of government. Those candidates who run a border security first campaign are likely to do better than those who don't. Plus, it's a no brainer as far as attacking Democrats for their loose attitudes toward border security.
It's still a long way to November, but this is an issue that is likely to still be hot when the election rolls around.