Support for Abbott's border policies ticks up in new survey

Support for Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottMcConaughey says he won't seek political office 'at this moment' Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills One-quarter in Texas unwilling, unlikely to get vaccinated: poll MORE’s (R) border policies has slightly increased in recent weeks and remains far above support for President BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE's handling of the border, according to a new survey.

The poll, conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, found that 49 percent of registered voters approve of how the governor is handling immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, up from the 47 percent tracked in September.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they disapprove of Abbott’s handling of immigration at the border, while 13 percent said they have no opinion.

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The results, however, widely vary based on political party. The poll found that 77 percent of Republicans support Abbott’s performance at the border, while only 38 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats approve. 

For comparison, 33 percent of respondents said they approve of how Biden is handling immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, while 54 percent said they disapprove and 13 percent said neither.

The slight increase in support for Abbott’s performance on immigration came after thousands of Haitians traveled to the U.S. in September, many of who were seeking asylum. The migrants camped out under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, making headlines after some border officers on horseback were seen dispersing them from the area.

Abbott sent hundreds of Department of Public Safety cars to the scene to create a “steel wall” to block the migrants from entering the U.S. He also requested an emergency declaration in his state amid the influx of migrants, but it was ultimately denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Abbott later appealed the denial.

Fifty-nine percent of registered voters polled said they support using state funds to deploy the National Guard and the Department of Public Safety to patrol the border, while 28 percent said they are against it. Thirteen percent said they do not know.

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Additionally, half of the respondents said they agree that a wall along the Texas-Mexico border is necessary for a safe border, while 36 percent said they disagree. Thirteen percent of respondents said they did not have an opinion.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said they support granting permanent legal status to immigrants who traveled to the U.S. illegally when they were children, while 30 percent said they oppose such a policy.

The findings come as Abbott begins to gear up for a fierce gubernatorial reelection race against former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who announced his candidacy last week.

The survey, which polled 1,106 registered voters between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points and a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.