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Four in 10 Americans want wall on Canadian border

Four in 10 Americans want wall on Canadian border

JOHN MCCORMICK AND ARIT JOHN

Bloomberg News

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Failed Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker may feel some vindication in this number: 41 per cent of Americans say that if a wall is built along the Mexican border, one should also be erected on the Canadian one. And yes, the same percentage favours a wall erected along the nation’s southern border.

The latest Bloomberg Politics poll that also shows that immigration, a flashpoint in the 2016 presidential campaign thanks in large point to the incendiary rhetoric of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, is an issue that stirs strong emotions among Americans, some of them contradictory. While four in ten Americans favour border walls, overwhelming majorities also express positive feelings about immigration: 80 per cent agree the U.S. economy has thrived historically because of new arrivals and 70 per cent expressed approval for the efforts of Pope Francis to encourage nations to be more welcoming of immigrants.

It was a point the pontiff made almost immediately upon arriving in the U.S., telling a crowd at the White House: “As a son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.”

Trump has called for a physical wall to be completed along the border with Mexico, a concept that 41 per cent of Americans support and 55 per cent oppose; 56 per cent disagree with the idea of building a wall along the Canadian border, a notion that became one of the gaffes that hurt Walker’s candidacy, which the Wisconsin governor ended earlier this week. After initially indicating that he thought the idea was worth additional study, Walker later clarified that he didn’t actually want to build a physical wall along the more than 5,000-mile border.

Jake Crosan, 73, a retired truck driver from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is someone who does favour a wall along the Canadian border, if one is built along the southern border.

“If you cut off one, they’re going to come in the other way,” said Crosan, a Trump supporter. “It’s desolate up there in some places on the Canadian border and they’ve gotta do something up there to stop them from coming in.”

Asked if he worried of the cost of such a project, Crosan said it would be a good investment for the government and American people. “The money we would save by keeping the illegals out would pay for itself,” he said. “They’re taking our jobs, and the more people we get back to work, they pay taxes. It’ll pay for itself.”

Among other immigration proposals tested, the greatest support recorded was for requiring businesses to verify the immigration status of new hires, with 75 per cent backing this approach.

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