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Immigration Reform & Latinos: 89 Percent Of Latino Voters in New Poll Support Obama's Immigration Relief

First Posted: Nov 24, 2014 04:51 PM EST
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A new poll by Latino Decisions found 89 percent of Latino voters supported President Barack Obama's executive action to provide relief for parents of U.S.-born or legal resident children.

Details from the poll were announced during a webinar on Monday.

The poll was conducted on the eve of President Obama's broadcast announcing his executive action on immigration relief which extended DACA, introduced Deferred Action for Parents and limited deportation to those with felony records. The measure is anticipated to affect the lives of nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants and their families.

Voters were asked if they supported the president's policy, which would defer deportation for nearly 5 million documented parents of U.S.-born children through his Deferred Action for Parents program. Sixty-eight percent strongly supported the policy, 21 percent somewhat supported the policy, with 4 percent somewhat opposed, and 5 percent opposed to the plan.  

Latino Decisions said that, overall, 89 percent of registered voters (or 360 of the 405 Latinos sampled) showed support for the president's executive action, or 9 out 10 Latino voters.

"In looking back over our previous polling data, we found at its highest point, 84 percent of Latinos felt strongly about DACA, the 2012 executive action order that Obama implemented to protect the DREAMers, and so it is fair to say that this 89 percent we found is the highest and most unified we have found in Latino public opinion," Matt Barretto, Principal for Latino Decisions, told reporters.

Barretto added, "I think it is a strong testament to the connections in our community."

Barretto said the issue was across all sub-groups. Whether English-speaking or Spanish, Mexican or non-Mexican, they found overwhelming support. In partisanship numbers, they found 85 percent of Democrats supported the issue, while 81 percent of independents and 76 percent of Latinos identified with Republicans.

The poll was conducted by Latino Decisions in coordination with Presente.org, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, and Mi Familia Vota. It was a national sample of Latino registered voters, conducted in English and Spanish, on landlines and mobile phones during Nov. 20 to 22. Roughly 405 Latinos participated by completing a phone survey.

Arturo Carmona, who commissioned the poll, said immigration relief is a unifying and galvanizing issue for Latinos. 

"It would seem like we are living in different worlds when you see the rhetoric coming out of D.C. (Congress) and you see the data from this poll, there is a tremendous disconnect there and this poll shows how Republicans are increasingly out of touch with Latino reality," Carmona, executive director of Presente.org, told reporters. "The numbers of staggering ... Republicans don't realize this was not a victory for President Obama and the Democrats so much, this is a very personal issue for the Latino community. This was a resounding victory for the grassroots, for immigrants, for Latino families." 

In the 2014 election, Latino Decisions said immigration was a top mobilizing issue for Latino voters. An Election Eve poll conducted by them found 67 percent of those Latinos who voted said that immigration was one of the most, or the most important, issue bringing them out to vote and in deciding whom to vote for. They found that 37 percent of Latinos said they came to support the Latino community, and this statistic rated higher when those who were polled were asked whether they came to vote for a Democrat or Republican candidate.

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