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Latinos Overwhelmingly Back Immigration Executive Action in Recent Polls

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A range of recent polling finds overwhelmingly Latino support in favor of the recently announced executive actions on immigration. 

As is true for any new issue, the question wording matters hugely and can influence the specific results.  In particular, recent poll questions that describe the substance of the president’s announced immigration executive actions receive support from approximately 9 of 10 Latinos, while poll questions that do not include a substantive description of executive action still garner support from approximately 2 of 3 Latinos.

Here are some of the recent and relevant poll results of Latinos on immigration executive action:

Latino Decisions – 89%-10% support among Latino voters for executive action: According to Latino Decisions polling from late November (comprised entirely of registered Latino voter respondents rather than just Latino adults) 89% of Latinos (including 95% of Latino Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans) support the president’s executive action on immigration.  The poll asked:

President Obama has said that Congress had many chances to pass an immigration bill and they failed.  Now Obama has enacted executive action to provide relief from deportation for any undocumented immigrant who has not committed a crime, has lived here 5 or more years and is a parent of a U.S. citizen or legal resident child here in the U.S., and providing them with temporary work permits to they have legal status.  Do you support or oppose President Obama taking this executive action?

Large majorities of Latino voters in the poll also thought Republicans in Congress bear the brunt of responsibility for the lack of progress on immigration (64%) and opposed Republicans’ attempts to obstruct the Administration’s new plans by filing lawsuits (74%) or restricting funding (80%).

Public Religion Research Institute – 89%-11% support among Latinos for executive action: In their early December poll, PRRI found that Latinos overwhelmingly supported executive action and that Latino enthusiasm for President Obama had jumped significantly.  By an 89%-11% margin, Latinos in the PRRI poll supported the following description of executive action – “Allowing illegal immigrants who are the parents of children with legal status to stay in the U.S. for three years without being subject to deportation, if they pass a background check and have lived in the country for at least five years.”

As the PRRI poll write-up states, “In the wake of the high profile announcement about the executive action on immigration, President Obama’s job approval rating among Hispanics increased significantly.  Currently, more than 6-in-10 (62%) Hispanics say they approve of the job Obama is doing as President—a marked uptick from October 2014 when fewer than half (46%) of Hispanics expressed approval.”  Additionally, Latinos are paying attention to the executive action debate – PRRI found that 40% of Latinos said they have heard a lot about the executive action announcement and an additional 45% said they have heard “a little.”

Gallup – 64%-28% support among Latinos for executive action: New Gallup polling found that by a 64%-28% margin, Latinos in the U.S. support President Obama’s executive action.  Gallup first asked, “How closely are you following the news about executive actions President Obama plans to take dealing with certain categories of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S?” before following with, “From what you know about them, do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of these executive actions President Obama plans to take?”

Additionally, separate numbers from Gallup’s weekly tracking poll found that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration helped to reignite his popularity among Latino voters.  As Roque Planas captured in the Huffington Post, “President Barack Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics shot up 10 points to 68 percent after he announced his administration would offer deportation relief to an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrants…His approval rating among Latinos has hovered in the fifties since May of this year, dropping to a low point of 44 percent in the first week of September,” which was right after the announced delay on executive action.