Most Texans Oppose Trump’s Border Wall, New Poll Shows

Published April 19, 2017
Updated May 1, 2017
Published April 19, 2017
Updated May 1, 2017

Surveys show that just 35 percent of Texans want a wall that will likely cost $70 billion to build.

Texas Border

David McNew/Getty Images

Sixty-one percent of adult citizens living in Texas oppose Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, a new poll from nonpartisan nonprofit Texas Lyceum revealed Tuesday.

Though the Lone Star State shares America’s longest stretch of land with Mexico, only 35 percent of its residents support the construction of a wall — one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.

“I would like for Mr. Trump — I would even feed him — if he will come down here and talk to the people,” one resident told CNN. “He is doing exactly what the government did to us in the beginning. He’s not asking how it’s going to affect the people that live here.”

Though the idea of a physical barrier blocking immigrants from entering the country illegally may seem like a good idea to some Americans, the people most closely acquainted with the area don’t seem to feel that the plan would be effective or worth the exorbitant costs.

New numbers from Senate Democrats likely won’t help the project’s popularity. Released Tuesday, these numbers project that the wall would likely cost more than three times as much as initial estimates suggested — nearly $70 billion to build and $150 million per year to maintain.

The report also showed that the construction would necessitate the seizure of hundreds of acres of privately-owned land. The wall might also cut through some Americans’ property — effectively leaving them on the “Mexican side.”

All of these costs seem especially adverse in light of the survey’s other finding: Most Texans don’t mind illegal immigrants, at least not in the way that the Trump administration might think.

Only 31 percent of the survey’s 1,000 respondents want Trump to deport undocumented immigrants and 58 percent of the state’s population disapproves of how the President has handled immigration during his first 100 days in office.

Furthermore, 62 percent of the adults interviewed said immigration helps more than it hurts the US and 90 percent of them support allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens after they wait a long period, pay taxes, pay a penalty fine, learn English, and pass a background check.

“Despite the fact that immigration and border security is a perpetual concern, the fact is Texas adults as a whole still see immigration as a good thing,” Joshua Blank, the research director for the Texas Lyceum, said. “There’s a commitment to these values of America as a place that immigrants come to.”

Interestingly, Republicans and Democrats responded similarly to this question on citizenship — suggesting that the issue is not as polarizing in Texas as it is nationally.

The Republican Party’s strong focus on immigration may be part of the reason why it is losing support in the historically red state.

A poll released Wednesday shows Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, leading Sen. Ted Cruz in a potential 2018 Senate race.

If Castro does win, it will be the first time that a Democrat has earned a Texas Senate seat in 30 years.

Next, read about the Mexican congressman who climbed a border wall to prove how useless it is. Then, check out these 35 Ellis Island photos that perfectly capture American diversity.