Fifty-four percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Minutemen volunteers who patrolled portions of the Mexican border this year, according to a new poll.
A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 22 percent have an unfavorable view of the citizen activists.
The poll showed 48 percent of Americans believe the federal government should encourage volunteers to patrol the entire Mexican border while 33 percent disagree.
Fifty-two percent agree that if citizen patrols were encouraged across the entire Mexican border, illegal immigration would be reduced. Twenty-five percent reject that assertion.
A related survey found most Americans consider current immigration laws a threat to both national security and the economy.
The immigration issue is very important when it comes to determining how to vote in the next presidential election, according to 38 percent of respondents.
Another 31 percent say it will be somewhat important.
Twenty-seven percent say its not very important or not at all important.
Seventy-three percent of Republicans rank the issue as somewhat or very important along with 64 percent of Democrats.
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Jerry Seper, Washington Times, Sept. 23
Opposition continues to grow in Texas over next months Minuteman patrols along the Mexico border with city, county and community leaders looking to block the group from setting up observation posts.
Civic leaders along the border from El Paso to Brownsville have condemned the pending patrols, passed resolutions opposing the Minutemen and called on property owners to refuse them permission to enter their land.
More than 500 volunteers have signed up with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to take part in the Oct. 1 operation.
Law-enforcement authorities said the growing opposition threatens to bring violence to the border vigils, which are scheduled to run for 30 days.
Eleven state senators filed a resolution urging Gov. Rick Perry to oppose plans by the Minutemen to patrol the border, saying the civilian volunteersmany of whom are from other statesposed a threat to traffic, tourism and trade.
Mr. Perry, a Republican who also is opposed to Minuteman volunteers in his state, told the state senators and Mrs. Jackson-Lee that he could not block the vigil.
I fully understand and can appreciate the frustration that many Texans and others across the nation have with illegal immigration, Mr. Perry said.
In Brownsville, the Cameron County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution opposing civilian border patrols, citing respect for immigrants, confidence in federal law enforcement and a shared history with Mexico.
The safe and legal passage of immigrants and foreign visitors to Cameron County is important to the civic life of our county, the resolution said. The future growth of Cameron County depends on the continued good will of our brothers in Mexico.
Officials in Laredo also voted unanimously to oppose the Minuteman project, saying they were not welcome here. The Laredo City Council called on citizens and property owners along the border to refuse to cooperate with the Minutemen, referring to them as spies on suspected illegal aliens.
In McAllen, U.S. Border Patrol supervisory agent Julio Salinas told reporters the agency discourages private parties from taking matters into their own hands.
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