Over the past year, the Bipartisan Policy Center and BPC Action have engaged in a major effort to find out what Americans think about the U.S. immigration system and what they want to see done to fix it. We conducted focus groups and a nationwide survey to gauge public attitudes on immigration and support for reform options. Partnering with the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University, we looked specifically at Texans’ views on the issues, conducting an oversample of Texan respondents with additional Texas-specific topics like support for state immigration legislation.
These efforts showed that Texans share many priorities with national voters for reforming the nation’s immigration system. While Texans and other Americans overwhelmingly believe immigration helps the United States, they do not believe that there is control over who enters the country legally and illegally. Like national respondents, Texans also want a controlled system that allows immigrants based on how they will integrate into the American culture and contribute. However, Texans broke with national respondents over support for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, whether immigration levels are too high, and whether states should play a greater role in these reform efforts.