Sunday, September 29, 2013

Latino Voters Watching Political Leaders on Immigration Reform

The Los Angeles Times reports that a significant majority of Latino voters list immigration overhaul as a crucial issue and would be less likely to support a candidate who blocked efforts to pass immigration reform, according to a new survey.  54% of Latino voters polled said they would be less likely to support a candidate in the 2014 elections who opposed an immigration reform bill that included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the country, according to the survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The study includes some interesting findings.  Like Americans overall, Hispanics are most likely to rank jobs and unemployment (72%) as a critical issue facing the country today. However, nearly as many Hispanics (65%) report that rising health care costs are also a critical issue facing the nation. Majorities of Hispanics say the quality of public schools (55%), the federal deficit (54%), the cost of college (53%), and immigration (53%) are critical issues facing the country.

Fewer Hispanics say the growing gap between rich and poor (43%), abortion (32%), and same-sex marriage (22%) are critical issues in the country today.

Two-thirds (67%) of Hispanics say that immigrants currently living in the United States illegally should be allowed to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements. Roughly 1-in-5 (17%) say they should be allowed to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, while 1-in-10 (10%) say that they should be identified and deported.

There is bipartisan and cross-religious support for immigration reform among Hispanics. For example, majorities of Hispanic Democrats (72%), independents (67%), and Republicans (53%) support a path to citizenship.


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