Photo: Immigrants (Ted Richardson)
The deportation of undocumented migrants is the main concern for most immigrants in the United States, above obtaining citizenship, according to two Pew Research Center surveys released Thursday.
In one of the polls, 55 percent of Hispanics feel it’s more important for undocumented people to be able to live and work without the threat of deportation, while 35 percent feel that the priority is that there be a path to citizenship.
The other survey was targeted at Asian immigrants and the results were similar, although by a tighter margin with 49 percent feeling that eliminating the deportation risk was paramount and 44 percent considering obtaining U.S. citizenship to be their priority.
For both groups, which together represent two-thirds of this country’s 28 million authorized immigrants, getting a new immigration law approved this year is “important.”
Immigration reform is a priority for President Barack Obama and in June the Senate approved a bill dealing with the issue, but it has not prospered in the House of Representatives, where there is a Republican majority.
Pew found that 89 percent of Hispanics unconditionally support the Senate proposal and, if it eventually fails in the House, 43 percent of Latinos would blame the Republicans and 34 percent would blame the Democrats and Obama.
Forty-six percent of Latino respondents said they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned that they, a relative or close friend could be deported.
With Obama as president, more undocumented foreigners have been deported than ever, some 400,000 per year since 2009, the great majority of them Hispanics although forecasts by the Department of Homeland Security indicate that in fiscal year 2013 this trend could slow.
The new National Security Advisor, Jeh Johnson, recently wrote in a letter to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that he is opposed to the establishment of deportation quotas.