Immigration Is NOT #1 Issue For Hispanics

New Hispanic study show heightened concern over immigration reform.

By Louis Pagan
Published on LatinoLA: May 24, 2009

Immigration Is NOT #1 Issue For Hispanics

There's a piece by Albor Ruiz, in the Daily News that is titled "Hispanic Voters Say Immigration's No1." But, No. 1, what? I've enjoyed Albor Ruiz's articles for years and can not recall any disagreement on my part. But as much as I would like to think that my fellow Hispanics actually give a crap for their hermaons y hermanas, and developed an altruistic attitude to fellow human beings, I am unconvinced. Here's why...

Just last year from the Pew:

"Latino registered voters rank education, the cost of living, jobs and health care as the most important issues in the fall campaign, with crime lagging a bit behind those four and the war in Iraq and immigration still farther behind."

That was just July, of last year. So when I read Ruiz's article title I became skeptical and found another account of the same study:

"Respondents were also asked about their views on national problems. Fifty-six percent said the country's weak economy weighed most heavily on them, and 13 percent cited wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other worries included lack of access to health care, illegal immigration, the housing crisis, and low quality of public schools."

Hispanics are just like anybody else - we have a unique culture - we are not from another planet. So, to think that in the lapse of little under a year that Hispanics became ambassadors of empathy would be a far cry.

The point Ruiz's article is based on that I feel he did not bring home strong enough is that Immigration is NOT the # 1 Hispanic concern at the moment, but it would be a deciding factor in the upcoming 2010 election say it is still a national issue:

"75% of those interviewed for the Bendixen report said they thought anti-immigrant sentiment against Hispanics - not just illegal immigrants - was growing. Fifty-nine percent said immigration was a very important issue to them and their families.

But with 69% saying they knew undocumented immigrants as friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers, immigration is an issue that affects Latino voters in very intimate way. Actually, 87% of respondents said they would not vote for any congressional candidate who was in favor of forcing illegal immigrants to leave the country."

You see, if you read these two parts it is not that Hispanics are saying that they are genuinely concerned here, but because they see that it affects or will affect them that they are now concerned. If you read "...thought anti-immigration sentiment...was growing," and 69% say they knew undocumented immigrants as friends, relatives..." etc. So now it's become personal, becuase now they may experience this first-hand. This is psychology 101.

Slowly Hispanics, are finally waking up to the fact of the underlying attitudes that surround the immigration issue that has been used as a backdoor racists tool. Better late than never amigos!

NOTE: To see some true altruistic Hispanics on the front line, go and visit: Citizen Orange, Latina Lista, Latino Politico.

About Louis Pagan:
Latino bloger/author of Entrepreneur mind, Hispanic pulse taker. Husband/father.
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