During his successful Presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to crack down on illegal immigration, promising, "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall." Do we still want a wall built? A recent MoneyTips survey says no, but Trump voters say yes. In fact, they're willing to have America pay for it!
When Donald Trump accepted the nomination for President at the Republican convention, he told the crowd, "Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers." In an exclusive MoneyTips survey conducted in June, 466 Americans were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:
I believe President Trump's immigration policies are improving the American economy.
Half of the people surveyed disagreed, with nearly 3 out of 4 of them (74.2%) disagreeing strongly. The results:
Less than 1 out of 3 (30.3%) agreed with the statement, with less than 15% agreeing strongly, and less than 16% merely agreeing. Women especially do not feel Trump's immigration policies are helping the economy; 54.5% disagreed to some extent, with only 27% in agreement. For men, less than 45% (44.5%) disagreed, with more than 34% agreeing.
Age also appeared to be a factor, as only 20% of people younger than 40 agreed at any level with the statement, and a whopping 58.8% disagreed. Among those older, 35.6% agreed, and 45.4% disagreed.
Who did agree with the President? Trump voters. Nearly 35% agreed strongly, while more than 35% simply agreed. More than 70% of Trump supporters agreed overall, while less than 7% disagreed at all with the statement. In contrast, less than 5% of Hillary Clinton supporters agreed, and more than 87% disagreed. People who didn't vote for either top vote-getter, or didn't vote at all, also didn't agree.
Says Dr. Michael Zey, Professor of Management at Montclair State University's Feliciano School of Business in New Jersey, "The majority of Americans surveyed reveal that they are not convinced his immigration policies will help the economy. Trump must take his case to the American people even as he attempts to dramatically transform America's immigration strategy."
What's the most we should spend to build a wall between the US and Mexico?
59% of people surveyed did not want a wall built. A look at the results:
Women wanted the wall less than men did, with 63.5% of the women and 53.6% of the men reporting that they opposed building it. Although the majority was against it in nearly every age group, older respondents tended to want the wall more than younger ones. More than 72% of adults under 29 were opposed, while that number drops to 51% for people aged 60 and up. Two-thirds of the people whose families make $50,000 or less annually were against the wall, as opposed to 54% of the people whose families make more.
On the other hand, less than 20% of Trump voters said they didn't desire a wall, as opposed to more than 80% of the non-Trump voters. Compare that to Hillary Clinton supporters; nearly 88% were opposed.
Among the people who want a wall, is there a limit to how many tax dollars we should spend? The answer appears to be no. Over half (52.4%) of those who want to build the wall say do it no matter the cost. Of the rest, 31.4% say spend up to $10 billion, 10.5% limit it to $15 billion, and 5.8% cap spending at $20 billion. Regarding the cost in April, Trump estimated, "I think $10 billion or less. And if I do a super-duper, higher, better, better security, everything else, maybe it goes a little bit more." He recently proposed a "solar wall" that could "create energy and pay for itself."
Among people who desire the wall, the group that wants it the most no matter the cost contains families who earn more than $200,000 annually. 63.6% of those high-earners who want the wall wouldn't cap the costs. Among those surveyed whose families earn $50,000 annually or less, less than half (49.2%) don't care about costs. Older people also cared less about cost than younger people polled did. Only 43.4% of wall-proponents under 40 set no limit on costs, compared to 55.8% of those 40 and older.
Trump supporters may want to build the wall, but many also want to budget for it. While more than 56% of wall-proponents wouldn't limit the costs, 31.1% would spend up to $10 billion, 9.1% up to $15 billion, and 3.8% would cap spending at $20 billion. Those findings are similar to the overall numbers. However, among the few Clinton voters who want the wall built, over half (52.6%) would only spend up to $10 billion, and only 31.6% would build it without considering cost.
Summarizes sociologist Zey, author of many books including Ageless Nation, "Throughout the election campaign, Trump repeatedly argued that a restriction on both legal and illegal immigration would stem the influx of cheap labor and thereby strengthen Americans' job and wage prospects. He also linked illegal immigrants entering via the US-Mexico border to terrorism and crime. Americans not only voted Trump into office but also provided him a GOP House and Senate to produce legislation that addresses their concerns. Expect Trump to follow in the footsteps of previous presidents and make good on his campaign promises through legislation and executive orders."