New poll indicates a majority of Texas voters support relocating migrants

KBTX First News at Four(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KBTX) - According to a poll from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, immigration and border security are Texas voters’ top priorities ahead of midterm elections.

Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking a third term, began sending buses of migrants to Washington in April in response to the Biden administration’s attempt to lift Title 42--the pandemic-era policy that allowed the U.S. to deny migrants entry. Other Republican-led states like Arizona and Florida have followed suit, and the relocations have been expanded to other cities like Chicago, New York City and now Martha’s Vineyard.

Stephen Neukam, a reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune, joined First News at Four to discuss the growing tension across the country over the migrants and how Texans feel about the relocation program.

Neukam describes the busing of migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ D.C. residence as “retaliation” for comments she made on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The line they’ve been holding is that the border is secure and they’ve been defending President Biden’s immigration policies,” explained Neukam.

Although D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency in response to the thousands of migrants being sent to the city, Neukam believes it is unlikely this strategy will cause the border policy to change.

“I don’t think there’s much appetite coming from the White House, and certainly not in Congress right now to address border policies,” he said.

While Democratic lawmakers and immigration rights’ groups have criticized the treatment of the migrants, most Texas voters are in favor of Abbott’s initiative.

“I think that Gov. Greg Abbott sees this as a winning issue, and there was recent polling out this week that 52% of Texas voters support the migrant busing program in the state,” explained Neukam.

The same poll found that 35 percent of Texans were against the program while 14 percent were unsure.

Watch the full interview in the player above.