Why Border Residents Don’t Want Trump’s Wall

When asked, people along the border said they viewed those in cities across the divide as “neighbors.”

By Rhonda FanningJuly 18, 2016 8:50 am

One of the main talking points of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been his promise to build a border wall, paid for by Mexico.

But people living along the border aren’t as enthusiastic about that plan, according to a new poll conducted by Cronkite News, Univision and the Dallas Morning News. Angela Kocherga, director of the borderlands bureau of Cronkite News at Arizona State University, says that this the first poll of its kind in over a decade.

“It’s been 15 years since any polling has been done along the border, on both sides,” Kocherga says. “(This poll) is an attempt to really get to the heart of what border residents think. We hear a lot about the border right now on the campaign trail, but we don’t hear people talking to border residents.”

What they found was that a majority of residents along the border – both north and south of the Rio Grande – didn’t like the idea of a border wall. Korcherga says they then surveyed respondents to figure out why.

“Interestingly, it doesn’t mean that people are in favor of open borders by any means,” she says, “but the thing we heard over and over again, up and down the border – especially in Texas – is that this is too simple a solution. It really doesn’t get to the heart of the problems.”

Kocherga says they went further and asked people about their perspectives on residents of sister cities across the border.

“Everyone, almost to a T, said ‘we view people as neighbors,'” Kocherga says. “That really kind of helps you understand why people are choosing this idea of not having a wall and looking at mutual solutions to mutual problems.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Post by Alexandra Hart.