Latinos, Public Opinion, and Immigration Reform
Leal, David L.
This paper discusses the Latino dimension of contemporary immigration policy debates, particularly how the American public views immigration reform options and immigrants themselves. It begins with an overview of public opinion data, compares the attitudes of Latinos and non-Latinos, and discusses how the politicized nature of the immigration debate shapes Latino opinions. I also review the social science literature on immigration attitudes for practical insights into contemporary debates. For instance, to what degree do attitudes toward immigration reform actually reflect attitudes toward Latinos? Lastly, the paper explores the role of the immigration issue in congressional and presidential elections, the implications for Latino partisanship and vote choice, and the future of “blue” vs. “red” contestation at state and national levels.