Donald Trump’s wall might get cheers at his Thunderdome-knockoff rallies, but it’s overwhelmingly unpopular among the majority of Americans.
Nowhere is that more clear than among the people who actually live along the US/Mexico border itself.
Recent Pew polling found that the American public opposes Trump’s proposed wall by 59%-38%, a significant margin. But among locals, that percentage of people who oppose the wall skyrockets.
About 72 percent of people living on the U.S. side of the border and 86 percent of people living on the Mexican side are opposed to building a wall, a poll funded by Cronkite News, Univision News, and Dallas Morning News found. Building out a border wall also isn’t on the top of their priority list — 77 percent of Mexicans and 70 percent of Americans found that the economy, crime, and education were more important than border issues.
Not only that, but local folks on either side of the border view themselves as part of an international community, preferring to build bridges rather than walls:
Another 69 percent of Mexicans and 79 percent of Americans said that they depend on the other country for economic survival.
The survey was conducted in seven pairs of sister cities in the United States and Mexico.
Survey respondents weren’t asked specifically about Trump, who has been forceful about his aggressive proposals to stem immigration into the country. But the results do push back against some of the policy positions of the presumptive GOP nominee, who has openly claimed characterized Mexican immigrants as rapists, criminals, and drug dealers.
“This wall makes sense if you’re not from here, if you’ve never been here, if you’re scared of Mexico and of Mexicans,” Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) said in response to the poll’s findings. “It seems like a good emotional response to that fear. But when you live here and you know how interconnected we are and you know friends, or have family on both sides of the border, it seems ridiculous at best and, at worst, it seems like something that is shameful and embarrassing.”