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Texans back Gov. Greg Abbott as he tests immigration policy limits

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 8/15/2022 Anna Giaritelli
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The majority of Texans approve of how Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration has responded to record-high illegal immigration across the state’s border with Mexico, according to a new poll.

Fifty-one percent of registered voters in the Lone Star State support the two-term governor’s handling of immigration at the border versus 42% who disapprove, the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found in an August survey released Sunday.

TEXAS ACCEPTING DONATIONS TO FUND MIGRANT BUSES TO DC AND NYC

President Joe Biden fared worse. Just 34% of Texans backed Biden’s border response, while 55% were not happy with his performance over the last 19 months.

Fifty percent of respondents said they believe a wall along the Texas-Mexico border is “necessary for a safe border,” though support for a border wall lagged with Latinos — just 40% said they agreed a border wall is necessary, compared to 46% who disagreed.

Just two months into Biden’s term in office, the number of illegal immigrants whom federal law enforcement officers were encountering at the southern border began rising. By last summer, it was near all-time highs.

Earlier this summer, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol for crossing into the country between ports of entry and the number of asylum-seekers who sought refuge at the ports of entry hit the highest recorded levels in the agency’s 98-year history.

Abbott launched a statewide initiative called Operation Lone Star and deployed 10,000 state National Guard and Department of Public Safety troopers to focus on the border, including apprehending groups of migrants who crossed and surrendered, tracking human-smuggling vehicles, and intercepting drug smugglers as they transport loads north from the border.

In April, Abbott said the state would make bus rides to Washington, D.C., available to any illegal immigrant whom the Border Patrol has released from its custody and allowed to remain in the United States. Abbott said the several thousand illegal immigrants released into Texas border communities were overwhelming transportation infrastructure, including airports and bus stations. The free transportation out of the state and to the East Coast would help alleviate the pressure on community shelters and transportation hubs. Fifty-one percent of Texans surveyed support the busing initiative.

Texas began inspecting all commercial vehicles seeking admission at ports of entry this spring, concerned that people and drugs were being smuggled into the country despite federal officer inspections at the ports. The move was widely supported by 78% of Texans polled and led to Mexican governors agreeing to enhance security at the international border in return for reduced inspections, which significantly slowed traffic and impeded supply chains.

Abbott also pledged to finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall, though he has made virtually no progress doing so. Just 150 miles of the 1,250-mile Texas-Mexico border has a wall, leaving the large majority of the border easy to walk or drive across. More respondents support the wall-building effort than oppose it, but by lower margins than Abbott’s other orders — 47% supported state funds for the wall, while 42% opposed it.

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Abbott is seeking a third term this November and running against former El Paso, Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

The poll was conducted online and by phone among 1,384 registered voters from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

 

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Tags: Border Crisis, Immigration, Texas, Greg Abbott, Midterms 2022

Original Author: Anna Giaritelli

Original Location: Texans back Gov. Greg Abbott as he tests immigration policy limits

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