Sunday, May 19, 2024

Study Finds Latinos Concerned over Discrimination and Divided Over Immigration

A report released by the Pew Hispanic Center on Thursday shows that concerns over discrimination among Latinos have increased from just a few years ago and slightly above half say undocumented immigrants should pay a small fine but not be deported.

The percentage of Latinos that say discrimination is a “major problem” increased this year to 61% from 54% in 2007, the result of the national controversy over illegal immigration, according to the national study.

“Asked to state the most important factor leading to discrimination, a plurality of 36 percent now cites immigration status, up from a minority of 23 percent who said the same in 2007,” the report states. “Back then, a plurality of respondents — 46 percent — identified language skills as the biggest cause of discrimination against Hispanics.”

The survey also found that Latinos are divided about the impact of illegal immigration on Hispanics living in the United States.

“Roughly equal shares say the impact has been positive (29 percent), negative (31 percent) or made no difference (30 percent),” the report says. “This mixed judgment stands in sharp contrast to views that Latinos expressed on this subject in 2007. Back then, fully half (50 percent) of Latinos said the impact was positive, while just 20 percent said it was negative.”

The gap in opinions is also larger between native born Latinos and foreign born Latinos.

“The native born and foreign born have different views on many topics explored in the survey,” the report says. “For example, seven in 10 (70 percent) foreign-born Latinos say discrimination against Hispanics is a major problem preventing Latinos from succeeding in America. Less than half (49 percent) of the native born agree.

Furthermore, the survey also found that Latinos are divided over whether immigrant and native-born Hispanics are working together to achieve common political goals.  Almost evenly split, 45% said they are and 46% said they are not.

One measure Latinos are overwhelmingly united against is Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant legislation SB 1070.  Seventy-nine percent said they are against it.

The national survey of 1,375 Latino adults was conducted by land line and cellular telephones in English and Spanish from August 17 through September 19, Pew said. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for the full sample and larger for subgroups.