YUMA, Ariz. – Illegal immigration: It’s an ongoing topic of discussion brought into the spotlight by the upcoming presidential election. A new Arizona Republic poll shows that more than half of Arizona voters do not support the building of the wall between the U.S and Mexico, and even more are strongly opposed to a mass deporting of all undocumented immigrants.
Nearly 55% of poll respondents said the U.S. should not build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. in an effort to secure the border. 68% said that they were not in favor of mass deporting all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and local residents say that their biggest concern is a misallocation of resources.
“I think that expanding the wall might be a waste of resources,” explains Alexander Young, San Luis resident.
“Money could go somewhere else where it’s needed. Like education, fixing our roads, building, I don’t know, a better mall,” stresses Katie Burrell, Yuma resident. “Something that we need. And this isn’t it.”
Another worry is who will ultimately pay for this potential wall.
“Does that mean more money will be taken out and we’d have to pay higher taxes?” wonders Elizabeth Hendricks, Yuma resident. “I just… I don’t know.”
Local residents have their own ideas of how to better allocate these resources rather than focusing them on building the wall and implementing a mass deportation.
“Empowering the border patrol to do their job,” suggests Young. “A system basically if somebody comes in and they outstay their permission, that there’s something in place to track when they did go back into Mexico.”
And ultimately, residents say it’s disrespectful to potentially deport important members of the community.
“We have a very high minority population here,” explains Burrell. “It’s just disrespectful that we’re so focused on deportation. These are people that are in our community—that are hardworking members of our community.”