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Pew Hispanic Center Poll Shows Latino Consensus, Not Divisions

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Misleading Headline Obscures Latinos’ Strong Support for Immigration Reform

Washington, DC – Today the Pew Hispanic Center released a report with the title “Illegal Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos.”  And an article by USA Today mimicked the Pew Hispanic Center’s framing with the headline “Hispanics in U.S. More Divided Over Illegal Immigrants.”   Similarly, a piece by CNN.com is headlined “Pew report: Latinos divided over illegal immigrants, other issues.”  

As an organization that works on immigration issues, we were curious about all these divisions highlighted in the title of the report and in the initial news reports.  So we actually read the report.  Lo and behold, beyond the headlines about “divisions” we found the following findings:

  • 86% of Latinos support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • 79% of Latinos oppose the Arizona immigration law. 
  • 78% believe the 14th Amendment to the Constitution should not be changed to restrict birthright citizenship.
  • 78% say that immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents.
  • 78% support in-state tuition rates at public colleges for undocumented immigrants.
  • 77% believe enforcement of immigration laws should be carried out by the federal government and not by local police.  
  • 73% disapprove of workplace raids.
  • 68% of foreign-born Latinos worry that they, a family member or a close friend could be deported.
  • 61% say that discrimination is a major problem (up from 54% in 2007).

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This poll reveals a strong consensus among Latinos in the United States when it comes to immigration policy.  They believe immigrants strengthen the country, support reforms that create a path to citizenship for those here without papers and they oppose harsh enforcement measures.  Given this, the decision by the Pew Hispanic Center to highlight ‘divisions’ is bewildering.  In any case, the poll confirms that the fastest growing demographic in the nation has very strong and very united views about the key immigration-related issues before the country.”

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform