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Poll: Voters Oppose Border Wall

Poll: Voters Oppose Border Wall Promo Image

A majority of likely U.S. voters oppose the construction of a border wall with Mexico, according to a survey.

Rasmussen asked 1,000 people their opinion on the project between July 26 and 27, finding that 37 percent of respondents were in favor of the plan and 56 percent were against it.

Building the wall was one of President Donald Trump's key pledges during the 2016 election campaign; Trump argued it was necessary to clamp down on illegal immigration and crime.

Illegal crossings of the southern border are currently at a 17-year low.

On July 18, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that preliminary preparations for the wall's construction had begun in Texas, New Mexico and California. Engineers have been taking soil samples to determine the best way to build the barrier, DHS spokesman David Lapan said, according to The New York Times.

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Several prototype walls will be constructed in San Diego, enabling border patrol officers to assess which one performs most effectively.

Trump initially stated he would construct a "big, beautiful wall" along the entire border, but his position has since changed.

"You don't need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers," Trump said. "You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don't really have people crossing."

He went on to suggest that between 700 and 900 miles of wall would be required.

A DHS estimate suggests that the wall will cost $20 billion to construct. However, its bidding process, which allowed companies to submit construction proposals, is running behind schedule. The department has stated it will unveil the winning bids in November.

The first section of the wall proper is set to be built in Texas in November, according to Pro Publica. The section will be built in a wildlife refuge and will be funded by money already allocated by Congress. Customs and Border Protection has moved funds from another budget to pay for the segment of wall, which will reportedly be 3 miles long.

The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 400 species of birds and two endangered species of wildcats.

According to a 2005 law, DHS is authorized to waive regulations blocking construction of border barriers in an environmentally sensitive area.

"I was alarmed," Jim Chapman of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor told Pro Publica. "It was not good news."

On July 27, the House passed a bill containing $1.6 billion in funding for the border wall, although the bill is still subject to a Senate vote.

Sources: Rasmussen, The New York Times, Pro Publica / Photo credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons, U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Wikimedia Commons (2)

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