Illegal Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos

The national political backlash against illegal immigration has created new divisions among Latinos and heightened their concerns about discrimination against members of their ethnic group-including those who were born in the United States or who immigrated legally.

About four-in-five of the nation's estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants are of Hispanic origin. A new national survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, finds that Latinos are divided over what to do with these immigrants. A small majority (53%) says they should pay a fine but not be deported. A small minority (13%) says they should be deported, and a larger minority (28%) says they should not be punished.

Hispanics are also divided about the impact of illegal immigration on Hispanics already living in the U.S. Roughly equal shares say the impact has been positive (29%), negative (31%) or made no difference (30%). This mixed judgment stands in sharp contrast to views that Latinos expressed on this subject in 2007. Back then, fully half (50%) of Latinos said the impact was positive, while just 20% said it was negative.

Read the full report Illegal Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos on the Pew Hispanic Center's Web site.

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