The Executive Action regarding immigration reform, which President Obama announced last month is not receiving support by the majority of the American public. Not surprisingly, a new Gallup poll shows that Americans who do not support the law number at 51 percent of people polled, while those who are in favor of the new Executive Action number at 41 percent. Among Hispanics polled, the overall support of the population favors the new law with 61 percent of people polled, while those who do not support the President’s initiative are in the minority at 21 percent.
This initial polling would seem to indicate that most Latinos in the United States overwhelmingly support the new immigration policy. However, upon further investigation the numbers can be misleading. The main Hispanic supports of President Obama’s new Executive Action come from Foreign Born, or Hispanics who have immigrated to the United States. The number of foreign born Latinos who support the policy out-number those who oppose the immigration executive action by a whopping, 75 percent to 17 percent, who do not agree with it. Individuals of Hispanic heritage, who were born in the United States have a very small margin of approval rating; 51 percent who are in favor of the immigration reform, over 41 percent, who do not support the new law.
Even though, these numbers still show a majority of Latino support, the slim margin of difference may be troubling because the numbers are extremely important when it comes to voting. Latino individuals who are born in the United States are far more likely to vote than Hispanics who were born outside of the country, but have immigrated here. Out of all Hispanic immigrants who were born outside of the United States, only about half are adults, and therefore may be eligible to vote. Out of that half, only 24 percent of those Hispanic individuals are actually United States citizens over the age of 18 and have registered to vote. According to the statistics, in the 2012 president election, only 27 percent of all Hispanics voted at that time.
Projecting forward to the 2016 president elections, there is concern that a lack of Hispanic support for the Democratic Party’s immigration initiative will be represented when it comes time to vote. The numbers that the Gallup polls show are not as high in support among Hispanic voters, as the general polls may indicate.
The immigration policy that President Obama has put forward remains controversial among the Hispanic and non-Hispanic population of voters. What is agreed upon by lawmakers is that in order for an immigration policy to succeed, it must meet the approval of the majority of Hispanic voters. As politicians try to predict the future of the president’s Executive Action, it will be extremely important for Hispanics, born in the country and those who have immigrated here, to vote in support of the policy. As the numbers indicate, not all Hispanics present in the United States feel the same way about an immigration reform and the most ardent supporters by an overwhelming number, are those individuals who are not eligible to vote.