With reports of smuggled illegal aliens possibly planning a nuclear attack on Boston, a new survey of voters shows the top priority of Americans is the defense of U.S. borders and homeland security, far outranking building democracies in other nations.
According to the poll, 43 percent of voters listed border defense and homeland security as their No. 1 choice when asked about the highest military or foreign priority of the federal government.
Coming in second place at 19 percent is intelligence gathering and working to achieve international agreements encouraging the sharing of intelligence. The third priority, at 17 percent, is international aid and diplomacy, including lining up broad international support for military actions.
Building democracies in other nations received just 7 percent, and the U.S. going it alone in military interventions, footing all or most of the cost in terms of dollars and casualties, came in fifth, at just 6 percent.
When voters were asked to choose their highest, second and third priorities from the same list of five issues and their top choices were combined, defense of U.S. borders was the clear winner at 77 percent.
The survey was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Results for America, a project of the Civil Society Institute. The findings are based on the 1,608 respondents who say they voted, and the poll has a three-point margin of error.
The Iraq experience clearly has been a sobering one for Americans, said Pam Solo, president of the institute. Voters are embracing a new realism in foreign policy and security matters that puts more emphasis on safer U.S. borders, intelligence gathering, diplomatic initiatives, multi-national interventions when necessary and greater energy efficiency in order to decrease Americas dependence on Middle Eastern oil. . . The American public seems ready for an open, honest and democratic debate on the best course of action.
When asked How concerned are you about another 9-11-style attack by terrorists taking place on U.S. soil in the next 12 months, more than three out of four people (76 percent) said they are very or somewhat concerned.
Concern over border defense was heightened dramatically yesterday, with reports of a possible dirty bomb targeting Boston. Illegal aliens were said to be smuggled across the Mexico-California line, with the purported goal of detonating a nuclear device.
They got a call from across the border in Mexico to the California Highway Patrol and [the smuggler] said he brought two Iraqis and four Chinese [individuals] across the border and according to him, they stated soon to follow behind them would be some sort of [nuclear] material, a law-enforcement source told the Boston Herald.
City, state and federal authorities have been trying to corroborate the veracity of the threat.
Last month, the government of Mexico raised eyebrows with word that it published a new guide offering advice on how to cross the border into the U.S. illegally.
Called The Guide for the Mexican Migrant, the 32-page book published by Mexicos Foreign Ministry uses simple language to offer information on safety, legal rights and living unobtrusively in America.
Among the tips offered:
Try to walk during times when the heat is not as intense;
Salt water helps you retain your bodys liquids. Although youll feel thirstier, if you drink water with salt the risk of dehydration is much lower;
Thick clothing increases your weight when wet, and this makes it difficult to swim or float.
Meanwhile, President Bush continues to push for a guest-worker program for aliens from Mexico, which critics blast as an amnesty plan for illegals.
Bush recently told the Washington Times, Look, whether or not you agree with the solution or not, we have a problem in America when youve got 8 million undocumented workers here. A solution is not instantaneous citizenship. The solution is something more rational than that.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the president is facing a revolt against his proposal from members of his own party, who are looking to tighten the reins at the border.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told Reuters, Im willing to lead a fight against this and I would say there are at least 180 members of our Republican caucus who are willing at least to stop amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Additonally, the Bush administration has come under fire for snuggling illegal entrants, as Border Patrol agents in Arizona are now providing blankets and heat packs to help immigrants suffering from the effects of cold weather.
Despite Bushs mention of 8 million undocumented workers, business analyst Robert Justich, a senior managing director at Bear Stearns Asset Management in New York, has estimated up to 20 million are in the U.S. today, costing the federal government hundred of billions of dollars in unpaid income taxes.