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Poll: Latinos overwhelmingly oppose Supreme Court decision to uphold “show me your papers”

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Cross-Posted at Latino Vote Matters and Latino Decisions:

In polling data released today, Latino Decisions reports that Latino registered voters oppose the Supreme Court decision to uphold the controversial provision in Arizona’s SB1070 law that would require state and local police to check immigration status if they suspect a person they have stopped is an undocumented immigrant.  The poll finds 66% of Latinos oppose the recent court decision while 29% support.  Among foreign-born naturalized citizens, 76% opposed and 19% supported, and among second generation U.S. born Latinos 60% opposed and 34% supported the Court decision. The release is part of a larger poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and America’s Voice to ask Latinos their reaction to the Supreme Court decision on SB1070 and the possible implications of the law now taking effect.

Because the court decision was complex and had different components, the poll asked: As you may have heard, the United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision on the Arizona immigration law SB1070.  The court blocked some parts of the law from going into effect, but they upheld part of the Arizona law which will require state and local police to check the immigration status of a person if there is a reasonable suspicion he or she is an undocumented immigrant, if they have already stopped the person for another reason. From what you have heard, do you [rotate: support or oppose] the Supreme Court decision to uphold one part of the Arizona law to require state and local police to check immigration status if they suspect the person is an undocumented immigrant?”

Further, a great majority of Latino voters say they are concerned over racial profiling and that U.S. citizens will get caught up in the police immigration checks.  When asked, “how likely is it that Latinos who are legal immigrants or U.S. citizens will get stopped or questioned by police,” 79% of Latinos said it was likely and 19% said not likely.  The concerns were strongest among second generation U.S. born Latinos where 89% said it was likely compared to just 9% unlikely.

Beyond concerns over racial profiling Latinos report that the new immigration checks will not increase public safety, and in fact, many are worried that some immigrants will be reluctant volunteer information to police, out of fear for their own immigration status.  Overall 70% say that allowing police to check people’s immigration status will NOT increase public safety and 68% agree that immigrants may be less likely to report a crime or volunteer information to the police under the new law. [ Full results posted here ]

On Monday, July 23rd, Latino Decisions will co-host a webinar with the Center for American Progress and America’s Voice to examine the implications of the SB1070 decision on the 2012 presidential election, and release many more questions related to how Latinos evaluate the two presidential candidates vis-a-vis the Arizona immigration law and on prospects for future immigration reform.  Click here to register now for the webinar.

About the poll

Latino Decisions interviewed 504 Latino registered voters between July 7-16, 2012 using live telephone callers, sampled across all 50 states, and the Latino population in our sample is proportionate to the actual Latino population across all states. A mix of landline and cell phone-only households were called, and up to 5 attempts were made per number. Latino respondents had the opportunity to complete the survey in either English or Spanish, using fully bilingual callers, and overall 39% of Latinos chose to complete the survey in Spanish.  Overall, the sample has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.