Voters Open to Militarizing the Border

By Jon Feere and Jon Feere on March 17, 2009

The Obama Administration's somewhat skittish approach to border security is unfounded. According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, 79 percent of U.S. voters now say the military should be used along the U.S.-Mexico border to protect American citizens if drug-related violence continues to escalate in that area.

The White House doesn't agree. "We've got a very big border with Mexico. I'm not interested in militarizing the border," said President Obama. "We're going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense. I don't have a particular tipping point in mind."

One might argue that the frequent beheadings and assassinations taking place along our southern border have already put us at a tipping point. In the last 14 months, over 7,000 people in Mexico have reportedly been killed as a result of the escalating drug violence.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano continues to deny that the violence has spread into the United States and says she is preparing "contingency plans should violence spread into the United States." The secretary also says, "I think there will be some announcements with some specifics that either I or the president will be making in the coming weeks." It's expected that these plans will focus largely on preventing the flow of guns and cash into Mexico from the United States.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, is reporting that the drug violence is already spilling into our communities:

"U.S. authorities are reporting a spike in killings, kidnappings and home invasions connected to Mexico's murderous cartels. And to some policymakers’ surprise, much of the violence is happening not in towns along the border, where it was assumed the bloodshed would spread, but a considerable distance away, in places such as Phoenix and Atlanta.

"Investigators fear the violence could erupt elsewhere around the country because the Mexican cartels are believed to have set up drug-dealing operations all over the U.S., in such far-flung places as Anchorage, Alaska; Boston; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota."

It's no surprise that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of increased border security. In addition to supporting militarization, 61 percent of U.S. voters believe the United States should continue building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.