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Only 30% Say U.S.-Mexico Border Secure, 64% Say It’s Not

President Obama on Tuesday encouraged Congress to move forward on immigration reform, saying his administration has “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.” But most voters don’t share the president’s view.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% of Likely U.S. Voters think the U.S. border with Mexico is even somewhat secure, while 64% disagree and say it is not secure. These results include only three percent (3%) who say the U.S.-Mexico border is Very Secure and 29% who believe it’s Not At All Secure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats say the border is secure. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 65% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties disagree.

Most voters say securing the border is a higher priority than addressing the status of illegal immigrants already in the United States. Twenty-nine percent (29%) agree with the president that the border is now secure enough to begin dealing with the issue of illegal immigrants already living here. But 50% say the border is not secure enough yet. Another 22% are not sure.

Most voters continue to feel that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration.

While voters remain unhappy with the federal government’s efforts to stop or reduce illegal immigration, most voters continue to favor a welcoming policy of legal immigration.

Even voters in the president’s own party are evenly divided when asked if the border is now secure enough to allow the immigration debate to focus on the illegal immigrants already in the country. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans and the plurality (48%) of unaffiliated voters say the border is not yet that secure.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters favor a cutoff of federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, but only 29% think Congress is even somewhat likely to pass such a measure.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters say the U.S. military should be used along the border with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration. That’s down 14 points from 67% last May. Twenty-nine percent (29%) now oppose the use of the military, while 18% are undecided.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters say they have followed news reports about the issue of illegal immigration at least somewhat closely, with 41% who have followed Very Closely.

Most Political Class voters believes the border with Mexico is secure, while 76% of those in the Mainstream disagree.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of American Adults say if immigration laws were enforced, there would be less poverty here.

Most voters continue to favor strong sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them. Voters also feel strongly that police should check the immigration status of drivers during routine traffic stops.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site’s content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 11-12, 2011 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.

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©2011 Rasmussen Reports LLC

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