AUSTIN, TX- Texas voters think the most important problem facing their home state is immigration and border security, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll released Tuesday.
Immigration, border security, and political corruption and leadership topped the list of concerns for Texans facing the state, followed by the economy in fourth place.
“A big majority of Texans within the republican party are fundamentally concerned about immigration and wanting more restrictive policies,” James Henson with the Texas Politics Project said.
Henson said many of those restrictive policies that Texans would like to see regarding immigration stem from Donald Trump.
“Republicans have adopted positive attitudes towards Donald Trump’s proposals so quickly,” Henson said. “So we saw high levels of support particularly among republicans for both limiting the immigration of Muslims and building a border wall.”
52 percent of Texans agree with Trump’s idea of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and 53 percent of Texans said they support banning Muslims who are not U.S. Citizens from entering the United States.
“At the beginning of the campaign, these were seen as somewhat extreme propositions and seen as part of Donald Trump’s attempt to gain attention and to gain traction in the primary race,” Henson said. “Now that Donald Trump has won the nomination, republicans are getting on board with these kinds of proposals.”
In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that there were 1.68 million undocumented immigrants living in Texas, compared to the 10.8 million estimated to be living in the nation as a whole.
Over the past year, Texas lawmakers have pushed immigration to the top of their agenda.
Governor Greg Abbott worked to tackle these concerns dealing with border security by targeting sanctuary cities. Last October, Abbott said he supports cracking down on local governments that ban police from asking about a person’s immigration status. Governor Abbott also signed a record $800 million border security budget during the 84th legislative session.
Former U.S. Congressman, R-Texas, Kent Hance said the concern of border security extends beyond protecting the state’s physical border. Hance said the security threat comes from abroad as well.
“National Security is the biggest issue,” former U.S. Congressman, R-Texas, Kent Hance said. “There are people out there throughout the world, that they go to sleep every night praying they can kill us, because we disagree with them on issues, because we’re a Christian nation in many aspects.”
The latest UT/Texas Politics Project Internet survey of 1200 registered voters was conducted June 10-20. The margin of error is +/-2.83 percent.