National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Blog & Updates

Does the immigration issue matter to Latinos?

May 19, 2009 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

Assertions have been made on the other side of the immigration debate that immigration doesn’t matter to Latinos, and therefore politicians have nothing to fear by supporting mass expulsion of people (who are mostly Latino).


Our friends at America’s Voice released a public opinion survey on May 18th that sheds some light on this proposition.


The research firm Bendixen & Associates was employed to interview 800 Latino voters (in English and Spanish) in 13 states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.


These voters were asked how important the immigration issue was to them and their families.  82% answered that immigration was “very” or “somewhat” important.  (59% said it was “very” important.)  The most important reason cited by those who think the issue is important: “It’s a personal issue. It affects someone in my family or my friends.” 


A majority of respondents (64%) believe that “discrimination against Hispanics in the United States has increased because of the negative tone and the rhetoric of the immigration debate.”


The poll also had questions to gauge how this concern about immigration and the negative tone of the immigration debate would translate to the to voting behavior.


Would you consider voting for a candidate for the United States Congress who was in favor of forcing most illegal immigrants to leave the country or would you not consider voting for such a candidate?


A whopping 87% of these voters said they would not consider voting for such a candidate.  And 75% of these respondents reported that they were “very likely” to vote in the next Congressional election. 


Lack of Support for Candidates who advocate enforcement-only 

Source: America's Voice


So, immigration doesn’t matter to the fastest-growing segment of the electorate?  You should take a pass on that kool-aid.


As we reported in an earlier blog post, the public is also supportive of comprehensive immigration reform.  The National Immigration Forum has a new backgrounder on public opinion and immigration reform.  You can get the backgrounder, Change and Continuity: Public Opinion on Immigration Reform, here.

Crossroads Campaign Solutions