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Latinos Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of Deportations

Aired 12/28/11 on KPBS News.

Latinos' views on immigration policy and the upcoming presidential election will have a big impact on President Obama's chances next year, according to the latest survey from the Pew Hispanic Center.

Migrant workers head back to Mexicali after a day's work across the border in the California city of Calexico.
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Above: Migrant workers head back to Mexicali after a day's work across the border in the California city of Calexico.

— More than half of U.S. Latinos say they disapprove of the way the Obama administration has handled deportations of undocumented immigrants in the last couple of years. Last year, the federal government deported a record 393,000 people.

According to the report, "As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama's Policy," Latinos are nearly twice as likely as the general public to prefer immigration reform and a path to legalization, over just increasing border security.

For these reasons, President Obama suffered a decline in his approval rating among Latinos. But the latest Pew survey finds that despite this, Latinos' support for the Democratic Party remains strong.

The Pew Hispanic Center's Mark Lopez co-wrote the report based on surveys of more than 1,200 Latinos.

"The President's job approval rating over the last year has declined by 9 percentage points among Latino registered voters," said Lopez. "In fact, the interesting thing is, the gap between Latinos and the general public in terms of approval ratings of Barack Obama has actually diminished a lot over the course of the last year."

In other words, Latino public opinion most closely resembles the general public's at this point. Jobs, education, and health care remain at the top of everyone's list.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 28, 2011 at 10:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

W has NOTHING on Obama as far as deportations. Yet, that's not good enough for the Nativists.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | December 29, 2011 at 12:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

The reason those among the Latino community disapprove of President Obama's handling of immigration reform is because the president has not fought for amnesty. Amnesty is what some Latino's want when they refer to immigration reform.

A path to legalization already exists: they simply need to obey the current laws that grant U.S. citizenship. Our process needs to be simpler, yes, but to reward illegal immigrants sends the wrong message, which is to come any way you can and we'll grant you U.S. citizenship.

A path to legalization will require people meet a certain criteria. Probably in the form of:

1) Are you currently employed?
2) How long have you lived in the U.S.?
3) Do you have a criminal history?
etc.

To do so would create an outcry of favoritism. Bottom line is this is no simple task and that we (as in the U.S.) should not shoulder the burden. The Mexican Gov and Mexican people need to take action on their part to improve their nation without using the U.S. as a crutch versus a friend.

Again, no simple answer here, but like many I hope for change too.

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