Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hispanics worry about discrimination - Simmi Aujla - POLITICO.com
Hispanics are growing increasingly worried about being discriminated against by those fearful of illegal immigrants, according to a national survey of Hispanics released Thursday.
The Pew Hispanic Center released the poll, finding that 60 percent of Hispanics believe discrimination is a “major problem,” up from 54 percent in 2007.
And 36 percent of those responding said their immigration status was the biggest cause of discrimination, up from 23 percent in 2007.
The center released its findings amid a number of campaign ads that paint unflattering pictures of Hispanics.
In Nevada, for instance, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is running an ad that takes aim at illegal immigrants allegedly using benefits they don’t pay for, while contrasting images of white students with tough-looking Hispanic men.
In Louisiana, Republican Sen. David Vitter, who's seeking reelection, ran an ad hitting Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) for being too welcoming of illegal immigrants that rankled both local and national immigration advocates.
And in California, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is running a Spanish-language ad saying that she’s strongly against the Arizona law giving police broad powers to inquire about a person’s immigration status. In the primary, she barely protested it.
In the Pew poll, 79 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the new Arizona law that is being challenged in the federal courts.
It’s unclear, though, just how many Hispanics will turn out to vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Some analysts suggest the turnout might be light because many Hispanics are disappointed by lack of comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, Hispanics who feel threatened by the tenor of national debate on illegal immigration might want to be sure their voices are heard.