Thursday, December 13, 2007

As Immigration Issue Heats Up, Hispanics Feel a Chill


As Immigration Issue Heats Up, Hispanics Feel a Chill;
More than Half Worry about Deportation, Survey Finds

The Pew Hispanic Center today released a major report from its 2007 National Survey of Latinos. It finds that Hispanics are feeling a range of negative effects from the increased public attention and stepped up enforcement measures that have accompanied the growing national debate over illegal immigration. Just over half of Hispanics worry that they or someone close to them could be deported. Nearly two-thirds say the failure of Congress to enact an immigration reform bill has made life more difficult for all Latinos. And about half of all Hispanics report a specific negative impact on them personally as a result of heightened attention to the immigration issue. They oppose--often by lopsided margins--many of the new enforcement measures being pursued by federal and state authorities.

The report finds Hispanics generally see illegal immigrants as a plus--both for the Latino community itself and for the U.S. economy in general. Foreign-born Latinos are significantly more positive than the native born in their views about the effects of illegal immigrants, but even the native born are more positive than negative. The report analyzes opinion gaps within the Hispanic community and between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. It also presents new data on trends in enforcement at the federal and state level.

The report is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website

The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a non-partisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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