A national issue has been raised in the local debate for the candidates for Texas governor.

Will the debate over immigration policy influence the race between Gov. Rick Perry and challenger Bill White?

Our exclusive KENS 5 Belo Texas Poll took a look at how voters view the topic.

Our pollsters say it's an issue that can't be ignored by the candidates.

We asked which candidate people think would better handle illegal immigration. According to our poll of likely voters, Perry wins that question by a margin of 15 points: 51 percent for Perry, 36 percent for White.

Our poll also included some proposals to deal with illegal immigration.

Erecting a fence along the Texas-Mexico border received a 56 percent favorable rating.

Providing a pathway to citizenship was favored by 58 percent.

And increasing fees to companies that hire illegal immigrants was favored by 76 percent.

And regarding the new Arizona law allowing police to question someone they have already detained about their immigration status: It won overwhelming approval with Texas voters, with 70 percent favoring it.

But if you break down the demographics on the Arizona law, 80 percent of whites favor it, while 63 percent of Hispanics oppose it.

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