Which side of the border are you on?
A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that more than half of Americans (54%) believe that border crossings into the United States from Mexico are too high, with just 7% saying they’re too low.
This is the first time that a majority of Americans have voiced support for a border wall along the US-Mexico border.
The survey, conducted Feb. 13-15 among 1,000 adults, finds that Americans’ views on border security have improved somewhat since February.
Forty-one percent say the border has too many people trying to cross it, compared to 41% who think it’s too few.
Sixty-five percent think the border is too porous, compared with 36% who believe it’s safe.
While Americans’ opinions of the number of immigrants and refugees entering the United State has increased slightly, support for the idea of a border fence has increased as well.
Fifty-one% of Americans believe that the border should be strengthened, compared at the beginning of the survey with 40% who believed it should be reduced.
The border fence, which has been proposed as part of a $1.6 trillion infrastructure package, is a contentious topic, with a growing number of lawmakers pushing for a wall on the US/Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, including people from Mexico and Central America.
A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that 52% of likely Republican voters support a wall along both sides of the US border.
More than half (54% of Republicans) believe that people who cross the border illegally into the US are trying to take advantage of it.
And more than three-quarters (77%) of Republicans believe that illegal immigrants are trying not only to steal jobs but to undermine the economic and social fabric of the United Sates.
This is not the first survey that finds Americans’ concerns about border security.
In November, a Pew Research survey found that Americans are less likely to believe that crossing the border into the U.S. was safe than in the spring of 2016.
But in the first quarter of 2017, 61% of those surveyed said that crossing into the country was safe compared with 52% in the same period in 2016.
That’s the first year that a large majority of Republicans have said the border was safe.
The American Conservative Union released a report on February 12 that called on Congress to create a border security program.
The report notes that border security would require more funding and would require a large increase in border patrol agents and border enforcement personnel.
“The border is not secure unless the United Nations Security Council approves a program of robust border security and border surveillance and control,” the report reads.
“A border fence would be an unnecessary and counterproductive expense, and a waste of money that could be spent elsewhere.”