Posted on July 10, 2013

Latino-Americans Back GOP Amendments on Immigration Reform

Dick Morris, Real Clear Politics, July 10, 2013

If House Republicans insist on sealing the border and blocking Obamacare and other entitlements to currently illegal immigrants before any legalization can begin, how will U.S. Latino voters react? Will it trigger a backlash against Republicans or will Latinos accept the conditions willingly.

A new survey just released by John McLaughlin and Associates and organized and funded by California GOP activist John Jordan, indicates that they will happily endorse the Republican amendments.

To be sure, 86 percent of U.S. Latino voters back immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for current illegals. But, their support for reform does not stop them from wanting tougher border enforcement to stop further illegal immigration. By 60-35, Hispanic voters want tougher border enforcement. Asked about specific measures like fencing, more agents, drone surveillance and other steps to strengthen border enforcement, Latino voters approved by 55-42.

And, they are even willing to hold up legalization until they get it. When McLaughlin asked U.S. Latino voters if they would support or oppose legislation that granted legal status but only did so after 90 percent of the illegal immigration was stopped, they approved by 60-34.

And, by a margin of 56-40, Latino voters would oppose granting currently illegal immigrants access to federal benefits, including Obamacare, “while they are going through the legalization process and until the 90 percent goal is reached.”

The survey revealed an interesting fault line between currently registered US Latino voters and those who are here legally but who are not voters and/or not citizens.

Latino voters ranked immigration reform fourth on a list of four issues in importance to them. 63 percent ranked the economy first or second in importance while 57 percent cited health care and 45 percent said education was either their first or second priority of the four issues mentioned. Only 31 percent of Latino voters ranked immigration among the top two issues.

But among Latinos who were not registered to vote, immigration emerged as the top priority.