Texas Survey Examines Trust in Law Enforcement, Immigration

A survey released today found areas of agreement within two of the hottest political topics in the state — criminal justice and immigration. Though, wide separations were revealed, too, in the latest Texas Trends report by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs and Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan–Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. Those differences were especially sharp when comparing responses by ideology, race and generation.

“When asked if they trust their community law enforcement, almost half of the survey’s Black survey respondents said ‘no.’ To the same question, more than two-thirds of white respondents said ‘yes.’ When we examined by ideology, the highest levels of trust in local law enforcement came from the survey’s conservatives,” said Michael O. Adams, founding director of the Executive Master of Public Administration Program and professor of political science and public administration at TSU.

A majority of respondents (57.8%) favored the state’s Damon Allen Act (Texas Senate Bill 6) and its new restrictions that make granting of bond less automatic.

Considering immigration, a majority supported adding more immigration judges and courts to ease backlogs of immigration cases (65.9% agreed) and expediting court hearings for asylum seekers to reduce wait times (64.3% supported).

Differences were sparked along ideology on whether asylum status in the U.S. should be tougher to obtain. More than half of survey participants who described themselves as conservative (59.5%) or very conservative (69.8%) said it should. Those who describe themselves as liberal (22.5%) or very liberal (20.2%) reflected the opposite view.

“Considerable levels of agreement happened when we asked if the federal government was doing a good job of handling asylum seekers at the US–Mexico border. ‘No’ was the most frequent answer across all ideological divides,” said Delgerjargal Uvsh, Hobby School post-doctoral fellow.

Trust in local law enforcement – Overall, 58.6% of survey respondents said they have confidence in local law enforcement and believed local law enforcement.

Stark Contrasts Found by Race, Political Ideology
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