Survey Says: Latinx Community Values Creating Path for Citizenship for All Immigrants

By Shani Saxon Feb 12, 2020

On February 11, Pew Research Center released a report highlighting which immigration policy issues are most important to Latinx people living in the United States. Number one on that list is the need to create a path for immigrants of undocumented status to legally reside in the country. The report’s data, based on a national survey of over 3,000 Latinx adults, shows that although there is a "significant partisan gap" surrounding the issue, "strong majorities of Hispanic Democrats and Republicans" consider this to be a priority. 

Per Pew:

Overall, 83 percent of Hispanics say it is a very or somewhat important U.S. immigration policy goal to establish a way for most immigrants in the country illegally to stay in the U.S., according to the survey. By comparison, 67 percent of the U.S. public said this was an important goal in a separate survey conducted in September 2019.

Seventy-nine percent of Latinx people also believe the United States should welcome "civilian refugees escaping violence and war." The report also adds:

…a comparable share (76 percent) say improving the security of the country’s borders is very or somewhat important. Two-thirds of Latinos (66 percent) say increasing security along the U.S.-Mexico border to reduce illegal crossings is a very or somewhat important goal. Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border increased markedly in 2019.

Opinions diverge significantly between Latinx Democrats and Republicans around the issue of deportations. According to the Pew survey, "about a third of Hispanic Democrats (32 percent) say increasing deportations of immigrants currently in the country illegally is a very or somewhat important goal. Nearly twice as many Hispanic Republicans (63 percent) say this."

Both groups, however, agree that Congress has a responsibility to create a path to citizenship for immigrants who migrated to the U.S. as children. According to the report:

Many of the nation’s 60 million Hispanics have immigrant connections. About 20 million are immigrants themselves (though 79 percent are U.S. citizens), and another 19 million have at least one parent who is an immigrant. As of 2017, Hispanics accounted for 73 percent of an estimated 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., and a growing number of them came from Central America over the previous decade.

Click here to view the full report.