In my previous post, I noted that as 70% of voters in Arizona supported the new immigrant check law, but only 58% of the population was Non-Hispanic White, it was difficult to attribute the results to White racism. It was suggested in comments that possibly the pollsters didn't have a representative sample; perhaps those polled were 85% White. I didn't think it likely; Rasmussen is a respected firm- but I decided I'd check their raw data. I ran into a glitch: the raw data is available, but you have to buy a membership to get it.
Unwilling to spend the money, I looked around and found this very in-depth and fascinating poll from The Pew Hispanic Center It's a couple years old, but in a way, that's better- it's recent enough for the border troubles to be relevant, but not so recent as to be affected by the current political uproar over Arizona.
Some interesting points: "About a quarter of Hispanic adults are unauthorized immigrants, most of them arriving as part of a heavy wave of immigration that began gathering force in the 1970s." That's an astonishing figure right off the bat. Hispanics settled a great deal of what is now the United States; they were the majority non-indigenous peoples in the west and the south, from Florida to California, in the early years of US history. If today a quarter of Hispanic adults are not native born, then illegal immigration, especially in the last couple decades, must have been far greater than most of us in the northern half of the country realized.
That figure also puts an interesting perspective on many of the numbers that follow. For example, on immigration enforcement issues, the report says, "Latinos themselves also have differences on these issues, especially between the foreign born and native born. On all three questions, foreign-born Hispanics are more opposed to the stepped-up enforcement policies than are native-born Hispanics. The breakdown is as follows: 83% of the foreign born do not support active involvement by local police in immigration enforcement, compared with 74% of the native born; 84% of foreign-born Latinos disapprove of workplace raids, compared with 63% of native-born Latinos; and 66% of the foreign born disapprove of states checking immigration status before issuing driver’s licenses, compared with 39% of the native born." Let's break that down a little further: if 74% of the native born do not support active involvement by local police in immigration enforcement, and only 75% of the total are native born, then only 55% of the possible Hispanic voters are opposed.
As these are national numbers, and a couple years old, they would not reflect any new problems occurring in Arizona today. If we took the normal 45% White support for local enforcement with an estimated 40% of possible Hispanic voters, times the local Arizona demographic skew, that's 48% of the possible voters in Arizona who might have been expected to support the new enforcement law in normal times- throw in a crime wave that largely victimizes Hispanics, and it starts to look like Rasmussen's numbers aren't so unbelievable.
Another interesting point is about the perceptions of discrimination. "Asked to choose among four possible causes of discrimination against Hispanics, nearly half (46%) of all respondents say language is the biggest cause; 22% say immigration status; 16% say income and education; and 11% say skin color." I find that interesting because the Hispanic community seems to have a higher opinion of their fellow humanity than UUs do. I'm unaware of any polls on the subject, but my perception is that a clear majority of UUs believes that skin color is the biggest single issue in the minds of White Americans.
Yet another fascinating point is the Hispanic view on the quality of life here. "About seven-in-ten Hispanics describe their quality of life as excellent (26%) or good (45%). Also, 78% of respondents say they are very or somewhat confident that Latino children growing up now in the U.S. will have better jobs and make more money than they themselves have." Again, that seems more upbeat than my perception of UUs, many of whom seem to believe the country is going to Hell in a hand basket, or at least it would if Hell existed.
There's a lot more, too, about the Hispanic views on the right number of immigrants, language, etc- it's a fascinating read, I recommend it.