Americans are split over who should control the nation's borders, according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll.
Forty-three percent said it should be up to the federal Homeland Security Department, while 38 percent called it a state matter. The Senate is debating immigration changes, and border security is a key flashpoint.
If lawmakers tie such security to legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants, there is also division over what government agency should be responsible.
For those who thought such a link was a good idea, nearly half said homeland security should have the task. Thirty-four percent said state and local governments.
Of those who said the missions should not be linked, more chose local government over Washington, 42 to 39 percent.
And, the poll found, "The question produced a stark partisan split. Fifty-seven percent of Democrats think the Department of Homeland Security should be in charge and 26 percent pick local options. Among Republicans, there’s a greater belief in state and local governments, but the difference is smaller. Forty-six percent of Republicans said local authorities should have the power, while just 39 percent picked the federal government."
It also reported: "White men and women also hold far different views – 46 percent of white men believe state and local governments should have the responsibility while 49 percent of white women think the federal agency should."
The poll surveyed 1,004 adults June 13 to June 16. Margin of error is 3.6 percentage points.