Not all Latinos are on the same page on the immigration issue

KVOA News 4 in Tucson reports:

Contrary to scenes of hundreds of thousands of united Latinos marching across the country in support of immigration reform, a sizable number of the ethnic group opposes the marches and strongly objects to illegal immigration.

But their voices have largely been muffled by the massive protests, which will continue Monday as tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to take to the streets of Tucson, Phoenix and other cities nationwide.

They are voicing their support of a Senate bill that would give an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country a chance for U.S. citizenship.

“That’s the objective of the marches — to give the impression that all Latinos are for allowing the illegals to become citizens,” said Phoenix resident Lionel De La Rosa. “Well, I’m not.”

The 71-year-old Texas native and Vietnam veteran said he favors punitive measures more in line with the immigration bill passed by the U.S. House in December that would have made it a felony to be in the United States illegally.

“I’m for that 100 percent,” he said. “As far as my Latino friends are concerned, they all agree on this.”

A 2005 survey by the Pew Hispanic Center found that Latinos in general have favorable attitudes toward immigrants and immigration.

But when it comes to illegal immigration, significant numbers have negative views of illegal immigrants.

The survey found those feelings are strongest among middle-class and middle-age U.S.-born Latinos.

And though 68 percent of Latinos said they believe illegal immigrants help the economy by providing low-cost labor, nearly a quarter felt illegal immigrants hurt the economy by driving down wages.

U.S.-born Latinos looked even less favorably toward illegal immigrants than foreign-born Latinos.

More than a third of U.S.-born Latinos said illegal immigrants hurt the economy, compared with just 15 percent of foreign-born Latinos.

Latinos also are divided over whether to allow illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. the survey found.

Though 88 percent of foreign-born Latinos favored allowing illegal immigrants to earn citizenship, a smaller number of U.S.-born Latinos, 78 percent, said illegal immigrants should be allowed to do so.

Encouraging, but the study was conducted in 2005 – it’d be interesting to see some more recent numbers.

Hat tip: Carol Platt Liebau

Read the latest on the immigration protests over at Michelle Malkin’s (see also here).

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