Americans are nowhere near the number of Latinos they think are undocumented, poll finds


Americans from all walks of life mistakenly believe that the number of undocumented Latinos in the United States is two to three times greater than it actually is, according to a poll released Thursday.

About 13% of the 62 million Latinos in the United States are undocumented, according to the Department of Homeland Security and 2019 census information.

A survey commissioned by several groups found that perceptions of the size of the undocumented Latin American population range from 30% of Latinos – the number attributed by Asian Americans – to almost 1 in 4, the perception of African Americans.

Even Latinos think the share of undocumented Hispanics is larger than it is. Latinos put the number at 36 percent.

Several groups commissioned the survey to gauge perceptions of Latinos, the country’s second largest population group and responsible for more than half of the country’s growth over the past decade.

The poll found that Americans of the broadest racial and ethnic background also overestimate the actual share of the American population that is Latin American, 18.7 percent, and underestimate the actual share born in the United States, 67 percent.

“There is a lack of understanding of the Latino community, and therefore there is great indifference,” said Zandra Zuno Baermann, senior vice president at UnidosUS, a Latino advocacy group and one of the organizations that commissioned the survey.

Estuardo Rodriguez, president and CEO of Friends of the Latin American Museum, said misperceptions have consequences, as seen in the August 3, 2019 mass shooting in El Paso in which the shooter traveled nearly 700 miles to shoot and kill Latinos. “Take note of these misconceptions not only as another poll, but that there is a lot of work to be done,” he said.

The survey also found that most Americans have a favorable opinion of Latino citizens and immigrants living legally in the United States. But Americans, especially whites, are less fond of people living in the country without legal permission.

The survey found that about half of Asian and Black Americans and 67% of Latinos view Latino immigrants living here illegally. Only a third of whites shared the same opinion, according to the poll.

However, around 75 percent of those polled believe that Latino immigrants have a lot to offer the country and are an economic stimulus.

But many felt that Latinos in the United States “illegally take jobs that American workers depend on,” the poll’s results showed.

Asian Americans were more likely to feel this (55%), followed by whites (53%) and African Americans (49%). Among Latinos, 37% shared this view.

Surprisingly, although Latinos have started small businesses faster in recent years than other groups, less than half of Whites, Asian Americans, and Latinos see Latinos as being entrepreneurial or entrepreneurial. ‘business. Half of blacks attributed these traits to Latinos.

Zuno Baermann said she was comforted to see that Americans associate many positive values ​​and traits with Latinos.

According to the poll, a large portion of Americans see Latinos as family-oriented, religious, American Dream believers and optimists. About half of each population group said Latinos share their values.

Those who viewed Latinos as government addicts, criminals, or other negative traits were smaller – around 40% or less.

Ana Valdez, executive vice president of the Latino Donor Collaborative, said the survey results show a notable change from the dome of similar surveys in 2012, with Americans viewing Latinos as takers nine years ago to now mainly as contributors.

The survey of 2,200 people was conducted by BSP Research from August 25 to September 7. 2 and has a margin of error for the full sample of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

The groups that commissioned the survey are the Latino Corporate Directors Association; The Raben Group; UnidosUS; Friends of the National Museum of Latin American; and the Latino Donor Collaborative.

The margin of error for each population group ranged from plus or minus 3.5% for whites to plus or minus 6% for blacks.

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