The San Bernadino Sun reports on a new poll showing Hispanic opinion shifting in a more conservative direction on illegal immigration:
In 2007, 50 percent of Latinos surveyed told the Pew Hispanic Center that the growing number of illegal immigrants was a positive force for the existing Latino population. In a Pew survey released Thursday, that number had plummeted to 29percent.
Thirty-one percent said illegal immigration had a negative effect, and 20 percent said it had no effect.
While the wording of the question changed slightly in 2010 – striking the phrase “growing number” to reflect studies that show illegal immigration declining – several local advocates on different sides of the issue called the change in perception unsurprising.
It is indeed unsurprising. Polling has long suggested that Hispanic attitudes toward illegal — and even legal — immigration are ambivalent. Sometimes, immigrants are Hispanic Americans’ family members. Other times, they are economic competitors. Most Hispanic voters are American-born. Illegal immigration displaces them from jobs, undercuts their wages, and increases social services costs in their communities — just like it does to other Americans. Maybe instead of treating them like a monolithic bloc of amnesty supporters as the Democrats do, Republicans should try a different strategy.