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Poll shows most Americans don’t think there’s a crisis at the border

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A significant majority of Americans think there is no crisis at the US-Mexico border, despite President Donald Trump’s claims, an INSIDER poll shows.

A partial government shutdown reached its 28th day on Friday, as Trump and Congressional Democrats remained at loggerheads over a proposed $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall.

Trump has refused to cave on his demand that Congress fund more than 200 miles of new border barriers, often citing incorrect or misleading statistics about drugs, crime among immigrants, and even terror suspects at the border.

But according to the 1,095 people INSIDER polled through SurveyMonkey Audience, just 28% of respondents said they believed the border was in the middle of a “security crisis.”

Of the respondents who said they lived within a two-hour drive of the border, just 27% said there was a crisis, 42% said there were issues, but not a crisis, and 29% said there was no issue.

Overall, 44% of the respondents said the border faces some “security issues,” but that they didn’t rise to the level of a crisis, and 29% said it wasn’t an issue at all. Another 8% said they didn’t know if there was a crisis or issues at the border.

Mexican migrants prepare to jump the border fence to get into the U.S. side to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018.
Associated Press/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Read more: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BORDER CRISIS: Experts say there is no security crisis, but there is a simple way to fix immigration — and it’s not a wall

INSIDER’s polling results contrast with a similar poll released by Morning Consult and Politico on January 8. Of those respondents, 42% thought there was an “illegal immigration crisis” at the border, while 37% said there was a problem but not a crisis, and 12% said there was neither a problem nor a crisis.

The way the so-called “crisis” is framed may have some bearing on how Americans perceive the issues along the southern border. For instance, Trump has recently taken to calling the situation a “humanitarian crisis” rather than merely a “security crisis,” often citing the victims of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants.

“Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now,” Trump said in his televised address to the nation on January 8. “This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.”

But as media outlets and immigration advocates have pointed out, research shows that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. This poll had 1,095 total respondents, a margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points, and a 95% confidence level.

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