November 2008 – America’s Voice National Poll (Lake Research Partners and Benenson Strategy Group)
On behalf of America’s Voice, Lake Research Partners and Benenson Strategy Group conducted a survey that oversampled Latino voters, using bilingual interviewing to interview 371 Latinos between November 5 and 9, 2008. The margin of error was +/-5.1% for the Latino oversample.
Seventy-eight percent of voters, and 71% of Latinos, believe that undocumented immigration is a serious problem. When asked whether they believed undocumented immigration was a problem facing the country,36% said it was a very serious problem, 35% said it was a somewhat serious problem, 17% said it was somewhat not serious, while only 11% said it was not serious at all.
Sixty-one percent of Latino votersbelieve immigration reform should be a high priority for Congress. The majority of Latino respondents believed that enacting immigration reform should be a high priority for the new Congress. 61% believed it should be a top priority, with 10% responding that it is the single highest priority for the new Congress.
Over two-thirds of Latino voters agree that undocumented immigrants should be required to “register and become legal.” When asked “Most government officials believe that to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, we need to make our borders secure, crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes. In addition to these steps, what should be done about the 12 million illegal immigrants here in the United States?”, 71% of Latino voters said that undocumented immigrants should be required to register and become legal, 8% said they must leave the country, and 17% said they should be allowed to stay temporarily.
Latino voters agree that Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform rather than simply enforcing current law. By a margin of 45%, voters preferred comprehensive immigration reform to enforcement of existing law. Sixty-nine percent of Latino voters believed the new Congress should pass comprehensive legislation to address immigration reform. Twenty-two percent of Latino respondentssupported enforcing current legislation.
Sixty-nine percent of Latino voters would rather allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and become legal taxpayers than force them to leave on the theory that they are “taking American jobs.” Sixty-nine percent of Latino respondents believed that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to become legal taxpayers rather than forcing them to leave the country because they were taking American jobs, while only 13% said they should leave the country.