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Immigration Is the Top Issue Driving the Latino Vote

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latino decisionsLatino Decisions and impreMedia released polling today that shows Latino voters prioritize immigration, and do so because they view the issue through a personal lens. These are some of the important findings that should catch the attention of both political parties as the 2012 cycle begins:

  • Immigration the top priority among Latinos:  When asked the single most important issue facing the Latino community and important for Congress and the President to address, 51% of respondents answered immigration.  The economy and jobs comes in second place at a combined 35%. 

  • Latinos’ personal connection to the immigration debate: 53% of poll respondents reported personally knowing an undocumented person, whether a relative, friend, or co-worker.  Additionally, 25% of respondents reported personally knowing someone who “faced detention or deportation for immigration reasons.”

  • Latinos overwhelmingly favor administrative reform: Poll respondents strongly support executive action in favor of targeted members of the community: 74% support “stopping the deportation of any undocumented immigrant who has not committed a crime, and is married to a U.S. citizen or legal resident;” 66% support “stopping the deportation of any undocumented immigrant high school and college age youth who has not committed any crime;” and 60% support “stopping the deportation of any parent who has not committed a crime and has children under the age of 18 living in the U.S.” 

  • Both parties have work to do:  The poll also found that by a 65% – 19% margin, Latino voters trust President Obama and Democrats more “to make the right decisions when it comes to immigration policy” compared with Republicans.  Yet the news wasn’t all good for Democrats, as 43% of respondents said Democrats in the U.S. Congress were “ignoring or avoiding” immigration reform vs. only 33% who said they were “working on passing” immigration reform.