Border Security First

Most Americans believe there is “no point” to reforming our legal immigration system until the border is secure – something just one in four Americans believe the government is seriously trying to accomplish.  

WHY IT MATTERS – Democrats and President Biden have tried to tie any effort to bolster border security to broader reforms of our immigration system, including calling foramnesty for people who are already in the United States.  

THE RESULTS – A Counterpolling survey conducted by RMG Research asked participants if they agreed that “there is no point in reforming our system of legal immigration until we first secure the border.”  

  • 31 percent “strongly agree” 
  • 28 percent “somewhat agree” 
  • 17 percent “somewhat disagree” 
  • 13 percent “strongly disagree” 
  • 11 percent are “not sure” 

PARTISAN AND RACIAL DIFFERENCES – Majorities of Americans of different parties and races agreed with the statement, though the level of intensity varied.  

  • Thirty-four percent of Whites “strongly agree” compared to 21 percent of Blacks and 18 percent of Hispanics. 
  • Twenty-six percent of Whites “somewhat agree” compared to 35 percent of Blacks and 33 percent of Hispanics. 
  • Forty-eight  percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican “strongly agree” compared to 18 percent of Democrats and those who lean Left. 
  • Twenty-eight percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican “somewhat agree” compared to 34 percent of Democrats and those who lean Left.  

MISMATCHED PRIORITIES – The survey also asked participants how important it was for the United States to secure the southern border and end illegal immigration. 

  • 55 percent said it was “very important” 
  • 29 percent said it was “somewhat important” 
  • 8 percent said it was “not very important” 
  • 3 percent said it was “not at all important” 
  • 6 percent said they are “not sure” 

However, when participants were asked if the federal government today is serious about trying to secure the border and reduce illegal immigration:   

  • 27 percent  – Yes 
  • 50 percent —No 
  • 23 percent—Not Sure 

BOTTOM LINE – Americans prioritize border security and ending illegal immigration but don’t believe actions proposed on this issue  should be held hostage to other agendas, including legal immigration reform.  


This Counterpolling™ survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on January 12-13, 2023. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points.