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Poll: Border Residents Feel Safe Despite Stories of Violence

After the House passed its $600 million border security bill this morning, immigrants rights groups are citing a new poll to argue further spending on border safety is unnecessary. The poll, which was released today, indicates that residents of border regions feel safe in their communities. The poll was commissioned by the Border Network for Human Rights and conducted by the Reuel Group.

The four-question poll surveyed residents of 10 communities along the U.S.-Mexico border and found 69.7 percent believe they are as safe as other areas in the U.S.

Claims about danger and violence in border communities have been a constant part of calls for more border enforcement. But the poll, along with reports that crime on the U.S. side of the border is down, shows that bills like the House bill today are unnecessary, Fernando Garcia, director of Border Network for Human Rights, said on a conference call. “That decision by Congress is not reflecting the situation on the ground,” he said.

Sheriff Richard Wiles of El Paso County, Tex., echoed his concerns, saying that previous efforts to amp up border security were sufficient. “I do think that resources are misdirected at the border,” he said. “We have had a significant increase and I think they’ve done a great job, but now is the time to look at the real issues and put the resources toward the issues that are really affecting our communities.”

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