On Your World, Pat Buchanan claimed that immigration is "the most important domestic issue" to Americans and "almost equals Iraq in the minds of the American people." In fact, according to the most recent polling, the most important domestic issue to Americans is the economy.
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On the August 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan claimed that immigration is "the most important domestic issue" to Americans and "almost equals Iraq in the minds of the American people." In fact, according to the most recent polling, the most important domestic issue to Americans is the economy. Further, in most recent polls, far more Americans said they viewed the war in Iraq as the most important issue facing the country, while a much smaller percentage of respondents pointed to immigration as the most important. Although a larger percentage of poll respondents cited immigration as a high priority issue in polling conducted in June and July than have done so in polls conducted in August, even then, other issues, such as the war in Iraq and the economy, polled significantly higher as a national priority.
According to the most recent polling data, respondents have infrequently cited immigration as a high-priority issue, while the war in Iraq and the economy have consistently remained two of the most important. In an August 10-11 Newsweek poll, respondents said that immigration would be one of the least important issues to affect their vote in the midterm elections -- 22 percent said the "most important" issue was "the situation in Iraq," 18 percent said "the economy," 15 percent pointed to "terrorism" and 14 percent said "health care." Only 9 percent of respondents said immigration was the most important issue when considering their congressional vote. An August 11-13 CBS News poll found results similar to Newsweek's when asking the open-ended question: "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" The three most important issues according to poll were "war in Iraq" (28 percent), "terrorism" (17 percent), and "economy/jobs" (11 percent). Only 4 percent of respondents believed "immigration" was the most important issue facing the country.
A larger percentage of respondents did cite immigration as their "most important" issue in polls conducted in June and July than did so in the most recent Newsweek and CBS News polls. However, these polls also showed that a larger percentage of respondents cited other issues, such as Iraq and the economy, as the "single most important issue" in their vote, over immigration. According to a June 22-25 ABC News/Washington Post poll, when asked, "What will be the single most important issue in your vote for Congress this year," 24 percent of respondents said the war in Iraq, 23 percent pointed to the economy, and 14 percent said health care, while 13 percent said immigration. A June 27-28 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that, when asked to pick from a list of "issues [that] will be the most important in deciding your vote for Congress this fall," 11 percent said immigration. However, more respondents pointed to the economy (19 percent), Iraq (16 percent), and terrorism (12 percent) as "most important." A July 7-10 Harris poll, asking the question, "What do you think are the two most important issues for the government to address?" found that 13 percent said "immigration," a decline of 7 percentage points from the previous Harris poll; the "war" and the "economy" ranked higher at 32 and 15 percent, respectively.
During the segment, Buchanan also asserted that "[t]he Mexican government is consciously pushing the[ir] people into the United States to get rid of their poor and unemployed and have the Americans take care of them and the Americans employ them." As Media Matters for America recently noted, Buchanan has said he "think[s] that the Mexican government has a direct program basically to push its poor, unemployed, and uneducated into the United States for a variety of purposes," adding that the "reconquista," a term associated with the movement to recapture the southwestern United States for Mexico, "is well underway." As Media Matters has also noted, Buchanan has previously claimed that immigration will result in the "complete balkanization of America" and an "invasion of the United States of America."
From the August 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
NEIL CAVUTO (host): My next guest says that if we just keep letting illegals invade this country, America may not be the America we know in the year 2050. He's former presidential candidate in his own right Pat Buchanan, author of State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America [Thomas Dunne Books, August 2006]. It has already soared to the number-one spot on Amazon.com -- no easy task.
Pat, you heard [Rep.] Tom Tancredo [R-CO] before -- that this is going to be an issue that resonates, and maybe resonates enough for him to run for the White House, as did you. What do you think of that?
BUCHANAN: I think he's exactly right. I think it's the most important domestic issue in the country. It almost equals Iraq in the minds of the American people. Neil, I think it's going to be an issue in 2006, in 2008, and for the rest of our lifetimes, because Tom Tancredo is exactly right. America is in an existential crisis. I mean, the president himself admits, 6 million tried to break in across the border on his watch. By my count, 500,000 make it every year, which means 2.5 million have invaded. There are spies in there, undoubtedly saboteurs in there, probably Al Qaeda, probably Hezbollah.
And, if the president does not build that security fence on the border, and he grants amnesty, the whole world is coming, and this is going to be the end of the United States as people of my generation who grew up in another country knew it.
CAVUTO: All right, now, you -- one of the premises of your book is -- you talk -- we'll have better than 100 million Hispanics in this country by 2050. And you argue that with that power and clout comes a lot more power and clout. Explain.
BUCHANAN: That -- that's not my figure. That's the U.S. Census Bureau. There are 42 million Hispanics now, six million more than all the African-Americans in the country. There will be 102 million. They will be heavily concentrated in the American Southwest. The vast majority will come from Mexico, a country where 58 percent of the people believes the Southwest was stolen from them and belongs to them, and they have a right to be here.
The Mexican government is consciously pushing these people into the United States to get rid of their poor and unemployed and have the Americans take care of them and the Americans employ them. And, then, they get back $20 billion in remittances.
And, in addition to this, they get this huge cohort of people, loyal and faithful sons of Mexico, inside the United States. They urge them to become citizens and vote Mexico's interests. We will soon come to a point, Neil, where they will provide -- you don't need too many of them -- the swing votes in states like Arizona, New Mexico -- California's already gone for Republicans -- and Texas.
And, when they do, I don't think any Republican presidential candidate who's determined to secure and defend America's borders will be able to win the presidency of the United States.