Nearly 70 Percent of People in Mexico Believe Trump's Wall Will Do Nothing to Stop Border-Crossers: Poll

Nearly 70 percent of people in Mexico are not convinced that President Donald Trump's border wall will do anything to stop migrants and asylum seekers from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border outside designated ports of entry.

In a poll conducted by Mexico City's Reforma newspaper and co-sponsored by The Dallas Morning News and The Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University, 68 percent of participants said they did not believe Trump's wall would be effective, despite billions of dollars expected to be poured into the initiative.

It is still unclear exactly how much Trump's border wall will cost, if completed. While the initial price tag was thought to be around $8 billion to $12 billion, official and unofficial estimates have ranged from over $10 billion to $70 billion.

So far, however, the Trump administration has only built just over 85 miles of border wall, with a CBP report asserting that approximately 86 miles had been built as of November 22. What has been built has also been constructed "in place of dilapidated and outdated designs," according to the report, so, technically at the time the report was released, no completely new border wall had been built.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Matthew Dyman, a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which is overseeing the border wall construction, said that "since USBP (U.S. Border Patrol) began constructing border barriers nearly 30 years ago, these barriers have proved to be a critical component in gaining operational control of the border."

"Deploying wall system in high priority areas—particularly urban areas where illegal border crossers can quickly vanish into the surrounding community—allows USBP to decide where border crossings take place, not smugglers, and USBP can deploy personnel and technology in complement to border barrier," the CBP spokesperson expanded. "Illegal drug and human smuggling activities have decreased in those areas where barriers are deployed. Illegal cross-border traffic has also shifted to areas with inferior, legacy barriers or no barriers at all."

According to the new poll, the border wall was not the only point of disappointment among Mexican nationals, with participants expressing an overwhelmingly negative view of Trump himself.

According The Dallas Morning News, 75 percent of Mexicans said they have an unfavorable view of Trump. That number does, however, represent a slight improvement from July, when a similar poll conducted by Reforma found 77 percent to be against Trump.

Meanwhile, just 30 percent of participants said they felt that the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico could be described as "good" or "very good."

Participants of the poll, which was conducted in 1,000 face-to-face interviews between November 21 and 26, also expressed fears of shopping on the U.S. side of the border in the wake of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Conducted more than three months after the mass shooting, which saw 22 people killed, including eight Mexican citizens, the study found that only 45 percent of people feel safe shopping in the U.S., while nearly as many, 44 percent, said they felt unsafe.

Despite clear concerns about the U.S. and its leadership, nearly half of participants said that they or a family member still planned to migrate north of the border.

At least 40 percent said they wanted to migrate to the U.S., with the majority of those polled saying they were driven by the prospect of work opportunities north of the border.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Updated: This article has been updated with a statement from CBP.

Border wall
A construction crew installs new sections of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier replacing smaller fences on January 11, 2019 as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. A new poll has found that the majority of people in Mexico do not believe the border wall will deter migrants and asylum seekers from crossing the border outside designated ports of entry. Mario Tama/Getty