The current Republican primary campaign has made Republicans’ hostility to immigrants—and to any policies that might help immigrants—crystal clear. Indeed, Republican presidential candidates are seeking to outdo one another in loudly proclaiming their opposition to any and all pro-immigrant policies. This suggests Republicans are going to have a great deal of trouble attracting Hispanic support in the presidential election this November.
Consider these results from a recent Pew Hispanic Center poll. In that poll Hispanics favored the DREAM Act—which would allow illegal immigrants’ children, who were brought by their parents to the United States, to attain citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military for two years—by a staggering 91-7. Republicans, however, strenuously oppose such a provision.
The Pew poll also asked Hispanics if they thought illegal immigrants who went to high school in their state and are accepted to public college should be eligible for the in-state tuition rate. Respondents favored this idea by an almost-as-overwhelming 84-12. But again, Republicans have pledged noisily to oppose any such policy.
To say that Republicans are on the wrong side of Latino public opinion considerably understates the case. They’ll likely pay a price for that come November.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.