Hispanics’ views more positive toward illegal immigration impact

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    illegal immigration's impact and Hispanics

    The Hispanic community share their point of view of illegal immigration.

    By Ana Lopez

    Hispanics’ views of the impact of unauthorized immigration on the U.S. Hispanic community have grown more positive since 2010, according to a new national survey of Hispanic adults by the Pew Research Center.

    Today, 45% of Hispanic adults say the impact of unauthorized immigration on Hispanics already living in the country is positive, up 16 points from 2010 when 29% said the same.

    Views of unauthorized immigration’s impact have improved more among foreign-born Hispanics than native-born Hispanics. Half (53%) of Hispanic immigrants say the impact of unauthorized immigration on the U.S. Hispanic community is positive, up 19 points from 2010 when 34% said the same.

    This compares with a 12-point increase among native-born Hispanics to 35% in 2013.

    Among the native born, views of unauthorized immigration’s impact on U.S. Hispanics differ by immigrant generation.

    Some 42% of second-generation Hispanics say the impact of unauthorized immigration is positive. By comparison, just 29% of third-generation Hispanics say the same. For both groups, the share saying the impact of unauthorized immigration is positive has grown since 2010.

    Nonetheless, not all native-born Latinos say the impact of unauthorized immigration is positive. A third (32%) of third-generation Latinos and 22% of second-generation Latinos say the impact of unauthorized immigration on Latinos living in the U.S. is negative, according the press release by the Pew Research Center.

    Views vary across demographic subgroups of Hispanics. Dominicans (59%) and Salvadorans (57%) are the most likely to say unauthorized immigration’s effect on U.S. Hispanics is positive.

    Half (49%) of other Central Americans, 47% of Mexicans and 47% of South American Hispanics say the same. By comparison, 38% of Cubans and 34% of Puerto Ricans say unauthorized immigration’s effect on U.S. Hispanics is positive.

    Illegal immigration’s impact among Hispanics

    Hispanics’ views of the impact of unauthorized immigration on U.S. Hispanics have nearly returned to those of 2007. Then, when asked a slightly different question, half (50%) of Hispanic adults said the growing number of unauthorized immigrants overall had a positive effect on the Hispanic community, 20% said it had a negative effect and 20% said there was no effect.

    The nation’s unauthorized immigrant population reached its peak of 12.2 million in 2007, but then declined to a recent low of 11.3 million in 2009. Preliminary evidence suggests it may be on the rise, standing at 11.7 million in 2012. Overall, about three-fourths of all unauthorized immigrants are of Hispanic origin.

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