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Pessimism on war but support for U.S. military high and steady; 67% now favor troops on Mexican border

American soldier in action in Afghanistan

While the favorable opinions of Americans about their commander-in-chief have dwindled since soon after Barack Obama took office last year, a new poll finds the country has a remarkably high -- and steady -- opinion of its military forces.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adult Americans finds fully three-out-of-four have a favorable opinion of the military, almost exactly the same as the last two years. That number is all the more striking because only 41% believe the ongoing war in Afghanistan is winnable.

About 13% have no opinion about the U.S. military and 12% think unfavorably of American troops.

Republicans are more supportive of the military and slightly more likely to have served in it than members of the president's Democratic party.

But here's an interesting twist in the recent Rasmussen numbers: 67% of U.S. voters believe the country's military should be used to halt illegal immigration on the border with Mexico. Only 18% oppose that idea.

Fifty-eight percent now favor their own state passing legislation similar to Arizona's tough new illegal immigrant measure. up from 55% two weeks ago. Now that both Obama and the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, have denounced the Arizona legislation, most Americans say they trust Arizona state officials more than Washington on the immigration issue.

Sixty-eight percent say boycotts of Arizona over the controversial law are not a good idea, three-out-of-four don't think the federal government is doing enough to secure the border and 58% say federal policies actually encourage illegal immigrants.

Oh, and 69% not only think it is OK for a police officer to investigate the immigration status of someone stopped for violation of any law including traffic infractions, 69% say it should be required of a police officer.

Other than that, President Obama seems to have his finger right on the pulse of the American public these days.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Associated Press; CDZ

Comments () | Archives (13)

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Our U.S. military is the most brave and best in the world. I too think America's military should be used to stop illegal immigration on U.S. borders with Mexico. America is being invaded with illegal people, poor uneducated and criminal drug gang members from Mexico. They flood our welfare, our schools and emergency hospital rooms. Many refuse to learn english, forcing some employers to demand Americans speak both english and spanish, or they don't get the job. When will America's elected leaders speak out against Arizona's boycott and start fighting for the rights of it's tax paying citizens. Obama and congress were elected to represent the American people, but they show no concern for our limited resources. Illegal immigrants should go fight their governments in their countries for their needs. It's time Americans vote these democrats out of office before they take America to another third world country.

Troops on the border would be an excellent idea for a while. When the bad guys in Mexico become aware that the United States is serious about border enforcement, we could win the battle to control our border.

One problem we continue to face is that the wall, which the Administration has bragged about, actually doesn't exist. When the triple wall fence was built in California, the illegal aliens were forced to Arizona to cross.. where the fence doesn't exist in some places. You can google that too. Arizona Border Fence Images ... will get you a clear idea of what is there. Add the correct fencing to the border and that fence will be far, far more effective. At that point, we may even be greeted by the spectacle of the Mexican Government trying to find ways to take care of the Mexican People, and if that happens, it will all have been worth it. I think the Mexican People will thank us also.

We have read about the kidnapping of a former presidential candidate and the sell-out of public officials to the cartels, including a candidate for governor in Mexico. Their government is failing to control the drug lords, who may eventually take over the country by buying, intimidating, and replacing a preponderant number of elected officials with their own candidates. Drug terrorism would send waves of real refugees into the United States. The deployment of Marines across the 700 miles of border with Mexico might at some point become not just prudent but a necessary defense.

I'm not surprised by these poll numbers. Aside from the numerous problems caused by illegal immigration, I'm even more concerned about terrorists gaining access to the country. Sanctuary city laws prevented local police from detaining 4 of the 19 9-11 hijackers who were in the grasp of local police in the weeks before the attacks. Because local police do not ask immigration status, they were able to carry out the attacks.

Any American that supports these corrupt lawbreakers are crooks themselves working to destroy our laws and our land. And the fact that they will take over the supporters land when they get rid of us, well, it's kinda funny really. Except for killing US!

Remember that 30-40% percent of illegal aliens come into this country legally, on visas, and refuse to return to their home countries when those visasds expire. That is why we need more interior enforcement as well as border enforcement.

I've hoped for years that Washington would wake up and line the border with military brought home from the Middle East where there will always be war. If they yell about Posse Comitatua(military not used as law enforcers), I think it can rightly be said that we have been invaded, so that would not come into play. If necessry, we could send the Coast Guard since it is the only service force exempt from the posse comitatus act. Whatever...get the border secured, then start deporting illegal aliens.

The most important thing to remember in the primaries and in November, is who are the incumbent Pro-Amnesty and anti-sovereignty politicians and do not re-elect them. Learn who are for American workers and those lawmakers who support the 20 to 30 million illegal immigrants, who are financially crippling Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico and just about every other state. Arizona opened Pandora' box and the illegal immigrant invasion is coming to the boil.and has spilling over into other states. Learn all the facts of costs,overpopulation at NumbersUSA.

Good article, Mr. Malcolm. Not the same ol' beat-us-about-the-head with liberal self-righteous nonsense you get with the regular L.A. Times. Why isn't this article in the regular Times edition?

Anyway, high numbers in the polls in favor of enforcing immigration laws. Is Washington listening?

(AM responds: Thanks for being here and the kind words. This isn't a newspaper, so we have much more freedom. And appreciate the growing numbers coming to The Ticket every day. Please feel free to spread the word.)

I came across a good debating resource that allows you to post comments and cast votes either for or against the New Immigration Law of Arizona without prior registration. I really recommend it:

Jan Brewer faces a protest from opponents of Arizona's new immigration law, she's not worried about a potential legal challenge from the Obama administration over the law.

Let Your Voice Be Heard! Share Your Opinions for the Historical Record.
Vote in Public Opinion Poll at

"Remember that 30-40% percent of illegal aliens come into this country legally, on visas, and refuse to return to their home countries when those visasds expire. That is why we need more interior enforcement as well as border enforcement."

And that is why we need the federal government to establish a visa entry-exit system that logs in people who come into the US upon entry and logs them out when they return. Anyone who doesn't log out by the time their temporary visa expires is a federal fugitive.

Never has our government been so on the wrong side of history and the American people. Still, BO is tone deaf like Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc. Still, ignorant Americans will vote the big voice or the pretty face.

No matter, critical mass has been achieved. The La Raza crowd has the media, all 3 sections of the Federal Government (La Raza member Sotomayor secured that for the Supremes), the 14th admendment, chain migration, high birth rates, resistance to assimulation and most importantly, TIME.

By 2050, the USA will become a third world spanish speaking nation, according to the Census Dept. Nothing else needs to be done. Anyone that doesn't like it should leave. Try to explain this to your kids. They need to know why their country was sold out underneath their feet.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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