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John Daley ReportingKirk Jowers, Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics: "This shows that he's serious about it, that he's going to clamp down on it now, and then the follow up is going to be what counts. What bills actually come out, what does he actually sign?"
The President takes to the airwaves with a proposal to crack down on security at the U.S./Mexico border. It comes amid falling poll numbers for the President, even here in Utah.
As many as 6,000 National Guard troops at a cost of 1.9 billion dollars, that's the border plan President Bush announced in a live national address. So what's the expected impact here in Utah?
The President's plan would likely effect members of Utah's national guard. It also could influence his eroding poll numbers, even in normally reliable Utah.
It's a common refrain heard in many quarters, like last weekend's GOP convention.
Sen. John McCain, (R) Arizona: "Our borders are broken, our borders are broken."
In an address this evening, President Bush says he's ordering some 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border as part of a new plan for "dramatic improvements" in enforcement.
Jon Huntsman, (R) Utah Governor: "I think it represents sound policy. Any discussion of immigration needs to deal first and foremost with securing the border."
Utah has 6,500 men and women in the National Guard. Since 9/11, 80% of them have been deployed, most going to Iraq, also Afghanistan and 500 to help after Katrina. Currently it has 900 troops deployed, about 15% of the Utah Guard.
Huntsman says he expects most troops to be drawn from the four border states and perhaps some from neighboring states like Utah.
Jon Huntsman, (R) Utah Governor: "I think it is short term. I'm not sure you can ask for a deployment that goes long term. That deserves a long term public policy fix."
The move comes as a new SurveyUSA poll finds President Bush's approval rating in the Beehive State is 51%, a drop of 10 points from the beginning of the year and 4 percent since just last month.
Meantime, his disapproval is up six percent since last month to 46%. Utah, Idaho (at 52%) and Wyoming (at 50%) are now the only three states in positive territory. And with mid-term elections coming this fall, the immigration issue could be key, especially in swing districts.
Kirk Jowers, Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics: "This hits maybe four or five of those seats very directly, and if he can save those seats it may be the difference."
The second part of the president's plan is likely to be more controversial, giving immigrants a legal way to work in America. Many people, many conservatives in his party, see that as amnesty and many strongly oppose it.