If the Supreme Court upholds the Arizona immigration law, 60 percent of Latinos think it would create an anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic environment in the country, according to new polling data released by Latino Decisions and America’ Voice, an immigration advocacy group. Twenty-eight percent of registered Latinos said upholding the law would not have that effect.
The Supreme Court is slated to announce its decision – whether provisions in Arizona’s immigration law are in conflict with federal immigration law – today or in the next few days.
In a presidential election year, opinions or perceptions of how candidates or parties handle the “immigration question” could have an impact on Latino voters. The poll asked Latinos how they view the two political parties in terms of reaching out or advocating on behalf of Hispanic issues. Exactly half – 50 percent – of registered Latinos said the Democratic party was doing a good job of reaching out to Latinos, a jump from the 39 percent number in a January 2012 poll. Thirty percent of Hispanics polled thought the Democrats were ignoring Latinos and 6 percent thought they were hostile to Hispanic issues.
Latino registered voters gave much lower marks to the Republican party. Only fifteen percent thought the GOP was doing a good job of Hispanic outreach. Forty two percent thought Republicans were mostly ignoring Hispanics and 31 percent said Republicans were hostile toward Latinos, slightly up from January, when that number was 27 percent.
For the majority of Latinos, the poll found, the issue of immigration is more than theoretical – it’s personal. Sixty eight percent of Latino registered voters in Arizona know an undocumented immigrant. Earlier this month, 71 percent of Latinos in a Latino Decisions/Texas A&M survey were opposed to the Supreme Court upholding SB1070.