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Polls show Texans support Abbott’s marine barriers, deploying more resources to border

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(The Center Square) – Several recent polls conducted by the University of Texas show a majority of Texans support Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security efforts.

The majority polled support Texas installing marine barriers, constructing and repairing walls or physical barriers at the Texas-Mexico border, deploying additional resources to the southwest border, and busing illegal foreign nationals north.

The University of Texas/Texas Politics Project surveyed 1,200 registered voters from August 18 to 29, 2023. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.83%.

When asked if voters “support or oppose placing buoys and barbed wire at the Rio Grande River to deter migration,” 52% said they support it, 40% said they oppose it, 7% said they didn’t have an opinion.

Two lawsuits have been filed over the buoys, with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals most recently ruling in Texas’ favor, staying a lower court ruling to allow the buoys to remain in the Rio Grande River.

When it comes to constructing and/or repairing walls or physical barriers on the Texas-Mexico border, 60% said they support it; 32% oppose it, 8% said they didn’t have an opinion.

Abbott is the first Texas governor in state history to build a border wall on state land.

When it comes to deploying additional state police and military to the Texas-Mexico border, 64% said they support it, 29% oppose it, 8% said they don’t have an opinion.

Since Abbott launched his border security mission, Operation Lone Star, in April 2021, OLS officers have apprehended more than 435,700 foreign nationals illegally entering Texas. They’ve also made more than 34,000 criminal arrests, with over 30,900 felony charges reported, as of Sept. 8, according to the latest data from the governor’s office.

They’ve also seized more than 428 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill the entire populations of the United States and Canada.

When it comes to Texas taxpayers funding and busing illegal foreign nationals to other parts of the country, 48% said they support it; 41% oppose it, 11% said they didn’t have an opinion.

Abbott began busing foreign nationals released into Texas by the Biden administration in April 2022 “to provide much needed relief to border communities, the governor has said. Since then, Texas has bused 34,740 people to six sanctuary cities: Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver and Los Angeles.

In response to another question, 38% said Texas was spending too little on border security; 28% said it was spending too much, 22% said Texas was spending the right amount.

The Texas legislature has allocated over $10 billion to border security efforts over two, two-year budget cycles.

One outlying question asked respondents what their thoughts were about legal immigration. Roughly 43% said too many people are entering the U.S. legally; 35% said about the right amount were legally entering; 19% said too few were.

The findings come as another poll conducted for Newsweek found that 49% of those surveyed supported Abbott’s marine barrier border security measure.

In another, The Center Square Voters’ Voice poll, the overwhelming majority of 2,500 respondents polled, 82%, said they were concerned about “the situation at the border.”

Abbott maintains that “Texas has the sovereign authority to defend our border, under the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution.”

He has also pointed out that he’s given the Biden administration legal notice detailing Texas’ authority, written in eight letters, including one he hand delivered to the president earlier this year. When President Biden went to El Paso in January on his way to Mexico City, and didn’t invite Abbott to join him, Abbott went to the airport to greet him on the tarmac. It was then that Abbott gave Biden a letter with an outline of solutions to solve the border crisis.

Abbott has previously told The Center Square he has not received a response to any of his letters.

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