Since 2004, when Bush garner slightly over two out of every five Hispanic voters, Republicans have lost ground among Hispanics. Hispanics played a central role in 2016 election in key battleground states, in particular Nevada and Colorado.
In a Pew Study of Hispanic voters before the 2014 election, 54% of Hispanic voters could support a candidate who disagreed with them on immigration. But, one third Hispanics would vote against a candidate who disagreed with them. To what extent will this become an issue for Hispanic and how will this affect GOP efforts in the future?
We noticed a change in Hispanic’s attitude on immigration in our August 2014 survey. After the children exodus from Central America, many Americans became aware Obama seemed unconcerned about border security. This may have been a game changer along with Ebola hitting our shores. Many Americans viewed border security as a prerequisite for further immigration reform.
When asked certain options in our 2014 Hispanic August poll, 20% of Hispanics supported border security before further immigration reform. Whereas, 16% of Hispanics favored allowing those here illegally to stay provided they had a job. But, no pate to citizenship. However, 49% wanted a path of citizenship for those were here. The rest either didn’t know or had other ideas unidentified.
In a 2014 post-election poll conducted among Hispanics in Wisconsin, New Mexico and Illinois, 27% of Hispanics favored no immigration until border security. However, nearly 19% of Hispanics favored allowng illegals to stay with no path to citizenship. 36% believe in a path to citizenship. 18% favored other un-identified options.
Exit polls of black voters in Wisconsin and North Carolina, show 20% favored no immigration reform until border security. However, 19% favored allowing illegals to stay in the country with no path to citizenship. 36% believed in a path to citizenship with 24% taking other options.
In our national poll following the 2014 election, 27% of Blacks and 26% of Hispanics did not support immigration until the border is secured. 17% of Black voters and 23% of Hispanics support allowing illegal to stay in the country with no path to citizenship. 33% of blacks and 35% of Hispanics support a path to citizenship. Other options were supported by 22% of blacks and 15% of Hispanics. 45% of white voters supported border security before any discussion of any immigration reform. Nearly 14% supported allowing those to stay with no path while nearly 23% supported a path a citizenship. The rest supported other options.
There are two ways to view this. Less than half of Hispanics support a path to citizenship. But, 55 to 65% of those surveyed in the three polls in 2014 supported options allowing illegals to stay. Two thirds of those favored legal status for illegals with a path to citizenship. (50% of black voters in our national poll support options that allow immigrants to stay in the country. Whereas, only 38% of White voters feel the same way).
In our 2014 national poll, 65% of whites and 56% of blacks believed that additional immigration will take away jobs. However, 54% of Hispanics believe that Hispanics add to jobs.
Hispanics were more willing to support options allowing illegals to stay in the country. But, only 35% to 49% of Hispanics supported a path to citizenship for illegals outright. If the Pew Center research is right, many Hispanics are willing to listen to Republicans on other issues even if they disagree with them on immigration. In 2016, Democrats used immigration as a wedge issues to get Hispanics to vote. While Hispanics increased their turnout by 10%, they actually voted for Trump at a slightly higher level than they did for Romney in 2012.
Hispanics are not a monolithic group as they are as varied a demographic as white voters. And, as we have already seen, many Hispanics do have views similar to other whites. Further confusion is seen in our summer survey. When Hispanics were asked, should those children who entered the country last summer be allowed to stay? 80% said yes. But, when asked would you want those children moved into your neighborhood, nearly 60% said no! While it can be argued Hispanics are supportive of options allowing illegals to stay, it is not as overwhelming as one would think.
In the two separate 2016 national polls, with a Voice Broadcasting poll showing data similar to produced in 2014 and the other differ as far as what to do about path to citizenship. But, both polls show similarity as far as what future immigration levels should look like.
In the Voice broadcasting poll, 39% of voters oppose any further immigration reform until the border is secure. 11% state they would allow immigrants legal status provided they had a job. But, there would not be a path to citizenship. Meanwhile, 37% state they want a path to citizenship
58% of Republicans and 40% of Independents favor no further immigration until the borders are secured. However, only 19% of Democrats want to wait for the border to be secure. 12% of Democrats, 10% of Republicans and 12% of Independent favored allowing illegals to stay with no path to citizenship provided the illegals had a job. 55% of Democrats allowed illegals a path to citizenship. However, only 19% Republicans favored a path to citizenship.
40% of Whites, 26% of Blacks, 27% of Hispanics and 34% of Asians favored no further immigration reform until the border is secured. Meanwhile, 11% of Whites, 17% of Blacks, 13% of Hispanics and 16% of Asians favored legal status for illegals provided they had a job with no path to citizenship. 36% of Whites, 41% of Blacks, 47% of Hispanics and 39% of Asians favored a path to citizenship.
This contrasts with the Cyngal poll in which 34% of voters wanted no further immigration until the border is secured. While 47% favored a path to citizenship and 10% favored allowing a legal status with no path to citizenship. So it would appear that there is a divided America on this issue as one poll had border security given priority over any path to citizenship and the other viewed a path to citizenship.
51% of Republicans, 18% of Democrats and 33% of Independents wanted border security before proceeding with any further immigration. Meanwhile 64% of Democrats and 47% of Independents favored a path to citizenship with only 30% of Republicans supporting such a path. 10% of Republicans, 9% of Democrats and 11% of Independents favored allowing legal status based on employment status with no path to citizenship.
36% of Whites, 21% of Blacks, 21% of Hispanics and 28% of Asians wanted border security before any further immigration reform. But, 45% of Whites, 55% of Blacks, 60% of Hispanics and 55% of Asians favored a path to citizenship. 10% of Whites, 12% of blacks, 14% of Hispanics and 12% of Asians favored legal status with no path to citizenship.
Americas Majority has numerous polls in which the support for legal status was lower than other polls. But, one conclusion can be made: The majority of minorities favor legal status for illegals. But, the polls are divided over if a majority of minorities believe in a path to citizenship. Whites as a group favor legal status slightly but less than half favor a path to citizenship. Throughout the Republican primary, a majority of Republicans favored legal status. In exit polls, 70% of voters favored legal status. But, in neither case, the definition of what constitutes legal status was asked. In our poll we did ask that question and got a more definite answer of what voters want.
Another question rarely asked is the level of future immigration. While many polls ask whether immigration is good for America or ask about legal status, rarely do we get an insight on whether voters actually want immigration levels to stay the same, reduced or increased. Here we see there is a consensus being formed.
In the Voice Broadcasting poll, 49% of voters favored reduced levels. While only 26% favored either keeping the level the same or increased. The rest are unsure. In the Cyngal poll, 51% of voters wanted a reduction in immigration levels while only 33% wanted immigration levels increased or the same.
In the same Voice Broadcasting poll, 68% of Republicans and 50% of Independents favor reduced immigration levels. Meanwhile 12% of Republicans and 26% of Independents want levels increased or the same. 31% of Democrats wanted reduced immigration while 40% wanted more immigration or levels to stay the same. In the Cyngal poll, 64% of Republicans and 47% of Independents wanted reduced levels while only 19% Republicans and 36% of Independents wanted to see increased immigration or immigration to stay the same. 39% Democrats favored reduced levels while 46% wanted to see either immigration levels to stay the same or increased.
In the Voice Broadcasting poll, 51% of Whites, 38% of Blacks, 40% of Hispanics and 42% of Asian voters want immigration levels reduced. Meanwhile 25% of Whites, 29% of Blacks, 33% of Hispanics and 41% of Asian voters want immigration levels increased or the same. In the Cyngal poll, 53% of Whites, 41% of Blacks, 46% of Hispanics and 50% of Asians wanted immigration reduced. Meanwhile 31% of Whites, 40% of Blacks, 45% of Hispanics and 36% of Asians favor increased immigration levels or levels remaining the same.
While Democrats favored increase immigration, a significant numbers of Democrats would love to see immigration levels reduced. Republicans and Independents favored lower levels of immigration. Nearly half of Hispanics favored reduction of immigration levels. This is a change from 2014 when the majority of Hispanics viewed immigration as a positive for the economy. Other groups viewed it as a negative. Now it could be argued more Hispanics favor lower immigration levels as opposed to increasing levels. Many Hispanics doubt if increased immigration levels will actually raise the overall economy.
Conclusions on Immigration Reform
This certainly points to a possible compromise on immigration reform. A significant numbers of Americans favor border security as a perquisite to further reform. While Americans favor legal status and a path to citizenship, they also want future immigration levels reduced to allow for assimilation. And, they don’t view increased immigration as a boon to economic health. So any reforms that combine all three have a chance to pass. One of the great secrets of the election is Trump’s reforms, when complete, would result in nearly the same number of illegals as other plans. The difference is that Trump’s reforms don’t happen until the border is secured. And, those illegals with criminal records would be deported. Republicans are moving toward a future immigration plan which reduces future levels. On this score, it would appear that most Americans, including minorities, agree.