When it comes to immigration into the United States, Americans are thinking longer and harder about this issue than ever before.
While most voters favor citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements, there is widespread agreement that new border security should come first. As one prominent Texas Republican Senator stated: "We cannot beef up security enough. Some people might want the government to invest in highways, transit systems, public works projects, but those kinds of investments don't keep unwanted criminals out of the United States. We need to triple the height of our fences and quadruple the number of our armed border guards. Ideally, years from now our U.S.-Mexico fence will rival the Great Wall of China."
In addition, more than half say we should cut the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States. States Republican Steve King from Iowa: "I'm nauseated by tired and sick refugees coming from other countries complaining about being tortured. Instead of huddling together and fleeing like sheep, they should take responsibility and fight back, maybe even torture the other side if that's what it takes."
A just-released Fox News poll finds majorities of Republicans (77 percent) want to decrease legal immigration. "It's just bringing more Democrats into the country," stated RNC Chair Rience Priebus.
Border security is another aspect of this issue, and opinions are changing. For example, the poll finds 60 percent of voters think it is not strict enough, and another 68 percent want new border security measures to be completed before changes to immigration policies. A new concern is about terrorists being able to come and go across our borders. For that reason, 62 percent of Republicans think that a special armed patrol of the border that prevents immigrants from leaving the country is a good idea. Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota summed up this increasingly popular sentiment: "Machine gun turrets, spaced maybe every 100 yards, facing inward ought to deter those immigrants who think they can just leave this country any time they want to before coming back." Bachmann then went on to argue that we need to more carefully screen American politicians. "We know there are terrorist sympathizers and spies in our government," Bachmann stressed, "and our goal should be to intensely interrogate every member of the House of Representatives on the possibility that they may be planted by a foreign government. Just the number of Democrats in Congress should be enough to raise justifiable suspicion."
Asked to respond to Bachmann's charges, Democrats declined, perhaps for understandable reasons.