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.

Of note, Latino residents who are U.S. immigrants, 74%, are more likely than those born in the United States, 46%, to consider immigration reform to be an immediate concern.

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.

Complete April 9, 2015 MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

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.

Poll points:

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.

Poll points:

  • 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.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables