May 26th, 2010
05:30 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Support for border crackdown grows

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates that nearly nine out of ten Americans want to strengthen U.S. law enforcement along the border with Mexico.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates that nearly nine out of ten Americans want to strengthen U.S. law enforcement along the border with Mexico.

Washington (CNN) – Public support for beefing up security along the U.S. border with Mexico and deporting all illegal immigrants has grown significantly, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that nearly nine out of ten Americans want to beef up U.S. law enforcement along the border with Mexico. The poll's Wednesday morning release comes one day after an administration official told CNN that President Barack Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico and will request $500 million to supplement current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities.

Full results (pdf)

Forty-one percent of people questioned in the survey say all illegal immigrants currently in the country should be removed, up 15 points from 2008. And 88 percent say more federal law enforcement officials are need along the border with Mexico, up 14 points from four years ago. The poll also indicates that 54 percent back a 700-mile-long fence along the Mexican border, up nine points from 2006.

"Support for more crackdowns on employers who hire illegal immigrants is high and also on the rise, from 58 percent four years ago to 71 percent now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Seven in ten would support a federal ID card that everyone would have to show to an employer."

Eight in ten also support a program that would allow illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to stay here and apply for legal residency if they had a job and paid back taxes. But only 38 percent say that program should be a higher priority than border security and other get-tough proposals.

"Americans want to crack down on illegal immigrants, but that same anger does not extend to immigrants who are in this country legally," adds Holland. "Overall, three-quarters say that the number of illegal immigrants should be reduced. But when it comes to legal immigrants, two-thirds say the number in the U.S. should remain the same and a quarter think that number should increase; only 3 percent want to deport all legal immigrants."

According to the poll, 57 percent support Arizona's controversial new immigration law, in line with other recent national polls. Only 17 percent say they would participate in a boycott of Arizona as a result of that legislation.

The recently enacted Arizona law initially allowed police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency, based solely on a police officer's suspicion that the person might be in the country illegally. Arizona lawmakers soon amended the law so that officers could check a person's status only if the person had been stopped or arrested for another reason.

Critics insist the law will lead to racial profiling; supporters deny the charge and insist the measure is needed to crack down on increasing crime involving illegal immigrants.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 21-23, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Immigration • Mexico • Popular Posts
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Pragmatic

    ... all of which ignore the problem that if business – both large and small – didn't hire illegal immigrants – the incentive would be gone or extremely limited!!!

    There are laws about this on the book – but enforcement seems to be one-sided: that's right! Business donates (buys) politicians! Cheap labor, even illegal, means a better bottom line.

    If you hire illegal immigrants ... fines and jail time! Enforce the laws equally!

    May 26, 2010 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. RichP, easton, pa

    1200 unarmed national guard troops for the border, to do what exactly, fuel vehicles. How about the clowns in DC taking a big piece of cash and moving 20,000 unemployed construction workers down there an FINISH THE FENCE or is that too simple a solution that would involve no bribes on the administrations part.

    May 26, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  3. Get a Grip

    To bad Oblamer doesn't support it. He doesn't care about America or the good citizens of this country. It's all about votes with Oblamer and destroying this country.

    May 26, 2010 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  4. MBFLA

    How in the world do that 41% of people who think undocumented people should be removed think that should happen? Should we create a Gestapo to go door to door and demand papers? How ridiculous to think we can ever do such a thing. We need to come up with REASONABLE legislation to deal with the issue, not throw everyone one out. Cities like Las Vegas would close down without undocumented workers!

    May 26, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is one thing that I happen to agree with some Republicans on (although some Democrats might have said this as well); we need to secure the boarder first. While that is being done, we can debate if those that have illegally entered the US should be deported, allowed to stay and their penalties or some possiblity that is inbetween.

    All of those that are found to be here illegally with any kind of violent criminal record should be sent back to their country of origin unless there is a high likelihood that they would be tortured or are a political refugee. Those that have none should be reviewed as to why they have come here (more likely a percentage) and what they are doing. They could be allowed to stay if they agree to pay fines, learn English and are never granted citizenship (unless they serve 10 years in the military with no problems). If they don't come here legally, then they should be at best permanant residents.

    May 26, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. Jim in Kansas

    1200 National Guard to "assist" the border patrol is inadequate. And to assist in an adminstrative roll while the border patrol recruits is unacceptable. Lets see some real force with some real power along the border and send a message.

    May 26, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. Peace

    All these depends on how the questions were put. Unfortunately majority, especially those who were not polled at all, never got shown how the questions were looking like!

    May 26, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm all for the border being secure, I just believe the AZ law will lead to discrimination. The AZ governor can't prove that it won't.

    May 26, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |