Arizona SB 1070: Most Latinos disagree with Supreme Court ruling
Overall, 66 percent rejected the ruling, but there was a divide between immigrant voters and those born in the U.S.
A majority of Latino voters opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the controversial Arizona immigration law’s “papers please” provision, according to a new poll Thursday.
Sixty-six percent of Latino registered voters nationwide said they are against the ruling and 29 percent said they support it, according to a Latino Decisions poll conducted for the liberal Center for American Progress and America’s Voice, a left-leaning immigration-reform group.
The Court last month ruled most of the law unconstitutional, but let stand the provision that requires state and local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone whom they stop who is suspected of being in the U.S., illegally, as long as they are stopped for another reason.
While supporters of the law insist that the provision is needed to tamp down on illegal immigration through Arizona, which has become a major port of entry for undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Latino and immigrant-rights groups say that the language will lead to racial profiling and are leading a separate federal court challenge to halt its implementation.
Overall, 70 percent of Latino voters do not believe the notion that the provision will make Arizona safer and 79 percent think that the law will lead to legal immigrants or U.S. citizens being stopped by police.
Democrats have sought to make the Arizona immigration law a major factor in the battle for Latino votes in this year’s presidential campaign, believing it could make the traditionally-red state of Arizona a competitive battleground with the help of Latino voters who are upset about the law.
President Obama has ripped GOP rival Mitt Romney for supporting the law, implying in an April interview with Univision that he backs racial profiling.
“We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that — and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption,” he said.
Romney has disputed the notion he called the law a “model” for the nation, but has endorsed its philosophical underpinning, “self-deportation,” as his national immigration enforcement method. The former Massachusetts governor at the same time said he would look to increase legal immigration to the U.S. as president.
The survey revealed a sharp generation gap that indicated that Latinos’ view of the Court’s decision depended on their family’s history in the U.S. Seventy-six percent of foreign-born naturalized citizen voters disapproved of the ruling, but that fell to 60 percent among second-generation Latinos and down to 51 percent for third-generation voters.
It’s interesting to note the difference in how the ruling was framed in the mainstream press versus the Hispanic and Spanish-language press. Mainstream outlets keyed in on the fact that the majority of the law’s provisions in question were struck down but Latino media emphasized that the Court let the “papers please” language stand.
The poll was conducted in both English and Spanish between July 7-16 and has a 4.4 percent margin of error.
(Photo: Flickr, xomiele)