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Major survey shows residents along border strongly oppose construction of wall between Mexico, US

For the first time in 15 years, a new poll takes a comprehensive look at life along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The questions focused on local opinions of the economy, border security and the the idea of building a wall between the two countries.

The poll was conducted by Arizona State University’s Cronkite News, Univision and The Dallas Morning News. Nearly 1,500 people in 14 cities along the along the border, including El Paso and Juarez were surveyed.

On the border wall issue, the poll shows 86 percent of border residents in Mexico and 72 percent on the U.S. side of the border are against building a wall between the two countries.

In a video clip showcasing the survey, El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke is heard saying, “This wall makes sense if you are not from here.”

The Democratic Texas congressman goes on to say, “If you have never been here, if you are scared of Mexico or Mexicans, it seems like a good emotional response to that fear.”

Former ABC-7 border reporter Angela Kocherga, who now works at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, says Mexicans and Americans along the border agree that security is a big concern.

“I think some people perceive the border as a dangerous no man’s land. Of course, we know that’s not true,” Kocherga said. “It’s a vibrant economically important region where they are very close economic, family blood ties and friendship and trade and people going back and forth.”

The poll results also showed 76 percent of Mexicans said they don’t trust their law enforcement officials. On the U.S. side, 82 percent said they do trust their authorities.

Korcherga explained the need for this type of poll after so many years.

“This election year we wanted help people on the border to make sure their voices are included in any debate or policy questions. But also to inform people away from the border so they know what’s happening,” Korcherga said.

Tell us how you feel about the poll on the KVIA ABC-7 Facebook page or tweet @abc7breaking.

To read the survey and the results for yourself, click here.

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