April 9, 2015
4/9: Many Americans, Including Most Latinos, Consider Immigration Reform a Priority… Pathway to Citizenship Key Component for Majority of Americans, But Latinos Divide
Immigration reform is important to many Americans, especially Latino residents. Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, including 81% of Latinos, think immigration legislation which provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants should be addressed by President Barack Obama and Congress. In fact, 41% of Americans and 59% of Latinos believe the issue should be an absolute priority for this year’s Congress.
On the question of providing a pathway to citizenship for veterans of the armed forces, Americans and Latinos have similar views. 55% of residents, overall, and 61% of Latinos say providing citizenship to veterans should be an immediate priority for President Obama and Congress this year.
Americans, overall, are more concerned about the inclusion of the pathway to citizenship in immigration reform than Latinos. Among Latinos, there is slightly greater urgency to pass immigration legislation, even if it does not contain the pathway to citizenship. While 52% of Americans assert reform should only be passed if it includes this measure, 39% say reform should occur even if the measure is not included. Latino residents divide with 49% thinking it is more important that a bill be passed only if it includes a pathway to citizenship while 44% report it is more important to pass immigration reform even if it does not provide a way for undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship.
Latinos born in the United States, 52%, emphasize the pathway to citizenship while Latino adults born in another country divide on the issue.
When it comes to President Barack Obama’s use of executive action to implement changes to immigration, opposition rests on procedure not policy. Nearly six in ten Americans, including more than three in four Latinos, approve of the president’s order. Among those who disapprove, 56% of Americans and 58% of Latinos oppose the executive action because the president did not seek congressional approval, not because they are against the content of the policy.
If Congress does not pass immigration reform by the end of its current term, Republicans will face the most blame.
- 65% of Americans say passing immigration legislation which would create a pathway to citizenship for foreigners illegally staying in this country should be addressed by President Barack Obama and Congress. This includes 41% who think the issue should be an absolute priority. Most Latinos, 81%, including 59% who want the issue addressed immediately, consider passing such legislation a priority.
- Americans, 33%, are more likely than Latinos, 16%, to report immigration reform should not be pursued at all.
- Nearly three in four Latinos who were not born in the United States, 74%, believe immediate action on immigration reform should be taken compared with 46% of Latinos who were born in the U.S.
- 55% of Americans, including 61% of Latinos, assert immigration legislation which provides a pathway to citizenship for veterans of the armed forces should be an absolute priority for this year’s Congress.
- 52% of U.S. residents think the pathway to citizenship is essential to immigration reform while 39% believe it is more important to pass immigration legislation even if it does not include a pathway to citizenship. While a plurality of Latinos, 49%, says the pathway to citizenship is key to immigration reform, more Latinos, 44%, when compared with the overall population, are willing to accept reform that does not include such a pathway.
- 52% of Latinos born in the United States believe it is more important for immigration reform to be passed with a pathway to citizenship, but Latinos who were not born in this country divide. 48% believe immigration reform should be passed even without a pathway to citizenship while 46% insist the pathway is the crux of immigration reform.
- Compared with 57% of Americans, overall, more Latinos, 78%, approve of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
- Among those who disapprove of the president’s executive order, 56% of Americans, including 58% of Latinos, do so more because Mr. Obama acted without congressional authorization and not because they oppose the policy. In fact, only 29% of U.S. residents who disapprove of the president’s executive order, including one in three Latinos – 33%, say they are against the substance of the policy.
- If an agreement on immigration reform is not reached before the end of Congress’ current term, a plurality of U.S. residents, 43%, including 46% of Latinos, will place the blame on the Republicans in Congress. 26% of U.S. residents and 22% of Latinos will point a finger at President Obama. 11% of Americans, including 13% of Latinos, will blame the Democrats in Congress.
Diplomatic Recognition of Cuba Supported by Majorities of Americans and Latinos
The opinions of Latinos closely reflect those of the overall population when it comes to U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba.
- A majority of Americans, 59%, including 56% of Latinos, approves of the recent decision for the United States to provide diplomatic recognition of Cuba.
- 26% of U.S. residents disapprove of the action, and 15% are unsure. Similar proportions of Latinos are against granting diplomacy to Cuba or are unsure.
Economic Sanctions against Venezuela Considered Appropriate by Half of Americans
50% of Americans, including a slim majority of the Latino population, consider the economic sanctions placed on government officials in Venezuela for acts of violence and the prohibition of freedom of expression of protestors to be the right form of censure. Latinos, 19%, are slightly more likely than Americans, overall, to say the punishment is too strong.
- 50% of the U.S. adult population, including 52% of Latinos, think the economic sanctions levied against Venezuela are the appropriate punishment for acts of violence endorsed by the nation’s leaders and prohibiting freedom of expression among protesters.
- 19% of Latinos, compared with 13% of the general population, say the sanctions are too severe. 20% of U.S. residents, including 16% of Latinos, believe the sanctions are not strong enough.
Equal Treatment under the Law?
Americans, 65%, are more likely than Latinos, 54%, to believe police in their local community treat minorities the same as anyone else. Latinos, especially those under 45, are more likely to report minorities are treated more harshly.
- 35% of Latinos, compared with 27% of the overall population, report minorities are treated more harshly by their local police. Only 4% of U.S. residents, including 5% of Latinos, believe minorities are treated less harshly.
- Latinos under 45 years old, 39%, are more likely than older Latinos, 28%, to say minorities are treated more harshly than anyone else.
The Impact of Pope Francis on the Views of the Catholic Church
37% of Americans say Pope Francis has improved their opinion of the Catholic Church, and 29% report he has made little difference in their opinion. The views of Latinos are similar to those of the overall population.
- A plurality of Americans, 37%, including 32% of Latinos, reports Pope Francis has given them a more favorable view of the Catholic Church. Only 6% of Americans, including 7% of Latinos, say the Pope has lessened their view of the Church. 29% of Americans, similar to 32% of Latinos, think the Pontiff has made little difference in their views. 29% of residents, including 28% of Latinos, don’t know enough about the Pope to comment.
Football Takes Top Spot as Americans’ Favorite Sport… Shares Honors with Soccer among Latinos
Football, 42%, is Americans’ favorite pastime. Among Latinos, football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, vie for the title of top sport.
- 42% of Americans consider football their favorite sport. Baseball, 15%, is a distant second followed by basketball, 14%. 11% choose soccer while 5% like hockey. Three percent cite another sport, and 4% do not have a favorite sport.
- Football, 31%, and soccer, 28%, are cited as the top sports by Latinos. Baseball, 15%, and basketball, 14%, trail behind. Only 2% of Latinos are hockey fans, and 3% mention another sport as their favorite. Two percent do not have a favorite sport.