Photo: Immigration Reform a Personal Issue for Latinos
The most interesting trend from the June impreMedia/Latino Decisions (LD) poll is the personal relationship that the Latino community has with immigration policies.
As reported earlier, a majority of these voters (53%) said they know someone who is undocumented, while one-fourth (25%) said they know a person or family member who is facing deportation or who has been deported.
These are striking numbers, particularly given that the sample for the poll is registered voters, who by definition are citizens of the United States. When the percentage of respondents is explored, who know someone who is undocumented across key demographic indicators, factors like nativity and language use do not have any marked impact on personal experiences with undocumented immigrants.
In fact, Latinos who were born in the United States and who are English speakers are more likely to know someone who has faced detention or deportation due to immigration reasons compared to Latinos who are closer to the immigration experience. Latino Decisions, believes that this firsthand knowledge of the consequences of immigration policy has led to a significant change in the attitudes toward immigration among the Latino electorate.
Over the past year more than 400,000 people were deported by Immigration Customs and Enforcement, and several states have passed controversial immigration laws in line with Arizona’s SB1070. Furthermore, just this week when speaking about potential solutions to immigration, Congressman Mo Brooks (Republican from Alabama) promised that he would do “anything short of shooting” undocumented immigrants. This is just the latest indicator of the growing hostility that has characterized the political climate surround immigration policy over the past several years.
As reflected in the data presented, the Latino population is very conscious of this tension, as a robust 76% of Latino registered voters believe that an anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant environment exists today.