- Fully 75 percent of Republicans support the floating orange spheres
- But more than a third of voters overall reject the controversial devices
- READ MORE: Migrants kept in cages as Arizona border crossings surge again
Most Americans support the buoys Texas Gov Gregg Abbot has deployed along the Rio Grande to deter migrants, despite concerns they're illegal and lead to drowning deaths, a poll shows.
Fully 51 percent of voters support the 1,000-foot floating barrier at a popular migrant crossing point between Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, Mexico, a DailyMail.com/TIPP survey reveals.
About a third of the 1,400 adults we asked earlier this month said they were against the wrecking ball-sized buoys. Another 15 percent said they were not sure about the devices.
Older people and those in the Northeast and the Midwest were more supportive of the devices, which are part of the state's aggressive anti-immigrant Operation Lone Star policy.
The Texan government installed the barrier last month and said at the time the buoys would deter people smugglers and illegal immigrants from attempting the dangerous river crossing into Texas.
'It's called operation hold the line,' said Gov Abbot.
'They are holding the line and ensuring that nobody enters the state of Texas illegally.'
The US Justice Department last month filed a lawsuit seeking to remove the buoys, saying they pose a threat to navigation and public safety.
Mexico has complained that they violate a water treaty and hurt cooperation between the two countries.
Two dead bodies have been found along the barrier, one of them stuck between buoys.
Texas state Rep Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, appeared in a video at Eagle Pass this week saying the state was treating migrants like 'animals' with the 'barbaric' large floating spherical devices.
He called them 'barrel traps' with serrated metal 'chainsaw devices' between each buoy.
The survey results come as unlawful immigration is a priority subject for millions of Americans — especially those living along the US-Mexico frontier or New York and other cities overwhelmed by the influx of asylum seekers.
Massachusetts Gov Maura Healey, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, saying an influx of migrants seeking shelter was overwhelming a state that already had a lack of affordable housing.
It's also a frontline issue in the 2024 presidential race, with former president Donald Trump, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis and other Republican wannabes carving out hard-line positions on border security.
Fully three-quarters of Republicans rate the floating barrier as a 'good idea,' compared to just 40 percent of Democrats.
Many social media users voiced support for Abbot's devices.
One user praised their 'effectiveness' at deterring unlawful river-crossers and criticized the federal government for deploying them.
'If you don't like the Texas solutions, push for the feds to do their job and close the border,' posted another.
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