Pew Surveys of Latinos and Asian Americans: Deportation Relief More Important Than Citizenship Pathway

Dec 19, 2013
8:47 AM

In two comprehensive surveys released today by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Latinos and Asian Americans “believe it is more important for unauthorized immigrants to get relief from the threat of deportation.”

You can read the full findings here. What follows are some of the findings’ highlights plus PDFS of the entire report.

Deportation Relief
When asked about what is more important —being able to love/work in the U.S. legally without threat of deportation or having a pathway to citizenship for those who meet requirements— 55% of Latinos and 49% of Asian Americans felt deportation relief was more important.


Deportation Realities
The next figure presents how the threat of deportation is more of a reality for Latinos. The question: How much, if at all, do you worry that you, a family member or a close friend could be deported? The net of “A lot/Some” was 46% for all U.S. Latinos and 59% for U.S. Latinos not born in this country.


Legal Status
This question offers some interesting points. Although granting legal status to undocumented immigrants is seen as a positive, there is still concern that offering this to those undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. will only encourage more unauthorized entries into the U.S.


A Broken System
As expected, everyone agrees that this country’s current immigration system is just not working.


Finally, Pew also offered some demographic information about both U.S. Latinos and Asian Americans.

Other Conclusions
The report also presented a wealth of other conclusions, including these data nuggets:

If the immigration bill dies, a plurality of Hispanics (43%) and Asian Americans (48%) say they would mostly blame Republicans in Congress. But sizable minorities of each group—34% of Hispanics and 29% of Asian Americans—say they would hold Democrats in Congress and/or President Obama mainly responsible.

The surveys find that while large majorities of both groups say they have heard or seen at least a little about the legislation pending in Congress, roughly seven-in-ten Hispanics (67%) and Asian Americans (72%) also acknowledge they don’t know enough about the details of the bill to say if they support it or not.

Some 85% of Hispanics and 83% of Asian Americans approve of increasing the number of temporary work visas for highly skilled workers. Some 85% of Hispanics and 79% of Asian Americans say they approve of increasing the number of temporary work visas for agriculture and food industry workers.

About seven-in-ten (68%) Hispanics and 73% of Asian Americans support a proposal to increase enforcement of immigration laws at U.S. borders.

Among Hispanics, 32% say the issue of immigration is an “extremely important” one facing the nation today. Among Asian Americans, just 17% say the same.

Foreign-born Latinos are more likely than native-born Latinos to say it is important that significant new immigration legislation pass this year—80% vs. 57%.

About four-in-ten (38%) Hispanics say the overall effect of unauthorized immigration on Hispanics already living in the U.S. has been positive, 26% say it has been negative and 31% say there has been no effect one way or the other.

Among Hispanics, the foreign born are more likely than the native born to say the effect of unauthorized immigration on U.S. Hispanics has been positive—45% vs. 30%.

Among Asian Americans, 21% say the effect of unauthorized immigration on Asian Americans already living in the U.S. has been positive, 25% say it has been negative and 44% say there has been no effect one way or the other.

Full Report
You can read the FULL REPORT here:

Pew Immigration Surveys, December 19, 2013: Latinos and Asian Americans

The topline questions can be read here:

Pew's Topline Hispanics Asians Immigration Legislation