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Most Want Mexico to Pay for At Least Some of the Wall

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Most voters aren’t as insistent as President Trump but think Mexico should pay for at least some of the new border wall. Perhaps in part that’s because they still question Mexico’s willingness to stop illegal immigration.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters believe Mexico should pay at least some of the costs associated with building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration, but that includes only 22% who say Mexico should pay all the costs, as Trump wants. Thirty-six percent (36%) say Mexico should not have to pay a thing. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major political party want Mexico to pay some of the costs of building the wall, with 32% and 18% respectively who say they should pay for everything. Forty-two percent (42%) of Democrats think Mexico should pay some of the costs, but 51% say it should pay nothing toward the wall.

Seventy percent (70%) of Democrats, however, are opposed to building the wall at all. Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans favor the project that was the centerpiece of Trump’s successful bid for the White House. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 47% favor the wall; 44% don’t.

Only 27% of all voters think the Mexican government wants to stop its citizens from illegally entering the United States, although that’s up from 14% two years ago. Nearly half (48%) say it doesn’t want to stop illegal immigrants from coming here, down from 55% in the January 2015 survey. Twenty-six percent (26%) now are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 29-30, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The spat over who will pay for the wall prompted Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his scheduled meeting with Trump this week. Surprisingly, in April of 2015, Democratic voters rated Mexico a better ally of the United States than Israel which had long been near the top of the list.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Republicans and 52% of unaffiliated voters do not believe Mexico wants to stop its citizens from entering the United States illegally. Only 37% of Democrats agree. But Democrats (33%) are also more likely than GOP voters (17%) and unaffiliateds (28%) to be undecided on the question.

Stopping illegal immigration has long been voters’ number one immigration priority.

Most voters in nearly every demographic group believe Mexico should pay for at least some of the wall. Among voters who say Mexico does not want to stop its citizens from coming to the United States illegally, 78% say it should pay some of the costs.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing say Mexico should pay for all of the wall. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the new president’s job performance, 74% say Mexico should pay nothing.

Fifty percent (50%) of all Americans believe Mexico should be asked to compensate U.S. taxpayers to offset some of the costs to this country of illegal immigration.  Thirty-four percent (34%) disagree, while 15% are undecided.

Voters think the government needs to do more to control the border but still aren’t sure that even that’s enough to make them support a path to citizenship for those already here illegally.

Most voters believe the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally  and think the U.S. government needs to more aggressively deport those who are here illegally.

Two weeks before Trump’s inauguration, more voters than ever said they were expecting significant cuts in government spending. But many still worry he won’t shrink the government enough.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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