Residents along the U.S.-Mexico border are feeling ignored in the midst of a U.S. presidential election in which immigration, border security and a proposed wall are being hotly debated, a poll released Monday suggests.
A Cronkite News-Univision News-Dallas Morning News border poll found a majority of urban residents surveyed on both sides of the border are against the building of a wall between the two countries and believe the campaign’s tone is damaging relations.
Residents feel Democrats and Republicans are ignoring their concerns and aren’t proposing solutions to help their economies or combat drug trafficking and human smuggling, journalists who gathered reaction to the poll found.
According to the poll, 86 percent of border residents in Mexico and 72 percent of those questioned in the U.S. were against building a wall.
The economy/jobs and crime/drugs tied at 37 percent each for the most important issue for border residents, the poll found.
The poll surveyed 1,427 residents in 14 border sister cities to assess attitudes and opinions on the local economy, immigration and border security. It was conducted in April and May.
The majority of interviews were done in Spanish on both sides of the border, and the margin of error was 2.6 percent.
Michael Baselice, president and CEO of Baselice & Associates Inc., the Texas-based public research opinion firm that conducted the survey, said he didn’t believe the predominance of Spanish speakers who participated in the survey skewed the results. He said around the same percentage of Spanish speakers were surveyed in a similar border poll in 2001.