Drug Violence From Mexico Now A Bigger Concern Than Illegal Immigration

Monday, January 12, 2009

A majority of Americans (52%) now worry more about drug violence coming over the border from Mexico than illegal immigrants, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they are more concerned about illegal immigration. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure which is the greater concern.

Given the longtime high level of opposition to illegal immigration, the numbers come as somewhat of a surprise until you consider that 67% of Americans now are at least somewhat concerned that Mexican drug violence will spill over the border into the United States, including 35% who are Very Concerned. Just nine percent (9%) say they are not at all concerned.

Last year, 5,300 were killed in Mexico in drug-related violence.

Most Americans support the continued construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the use of the military if necessary in border areas. Sixty percent (60%) say the government should continue to build the fence, while 26% disagree and 13% are undecided.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe the U.S. military should be used along the Mexican border, but 22% are opposed to the idea and 20% aren’t sure.

In a survey early last month, 74% of voters said the federal government is not doing enough to secure the country’s borders.

Homeland Security Secretary Nicholas Chertoff in an interview last week with the New York Times said the rising tide of criminal violence in Mexico prompted him to order specific plans to prevent its spread into the United States, including a “surge