What if they had an election and Hispanics voted for something other than immigration?

We've argued for years that Hispanics are not talking about immigration 24/7.  In other words, most Hispanics are in the country legally or born in the US.  

IBD highlights a new poll about Hispanics.  It won't be good news for the Obama reelection team and their efforts to "scare" Hispanics in 2012.

Here are the key findings of the poll:

An October 2010 study by Pew found that just 29% of Latinos said illegal immigrants' impact was positive vs. 31% who said the impact was negative. 

Another 30% saw no impact.

Among native-born Hispanics, 36% said illegal immigration had had a negative effect, while only 24% said it was positive.

The same study found that Latinos rated immigration fourth on their list of top issues, behind education, jobs and health care. 

Only 32% rated it as extremely important. For U.S.-born Latinos, immigration ranks sixth, also dropping below the budget deficit and the environment.

Amazingly, Pew even found that immigration reform wasn't the top issue for illegal immigrants, with only 27% of them calling it extremely important. It placed fourth on their lists too. 

Furthermore, only 15% of Latinos said they had ever marched or demonstrated for immigration reform and only 11% of U.S.-born Latinos said they had.  

A narrow plurality of all Latinos, 48%-46%, back increased border patrols. 

A majority, 58%, favors a national identity card.

A poll is a poll.  We don't like to hang everything on one poll.  However, I think that this poll is correct.

My impression is that Hispanics are not a single issue group.  They live in the same US economy that other Americans do.  They have sons in Afghanistan, too.  They send their kids to failing public sector schools run by teachers' unions that overwhelmingly support Dem candidates.  Polls show that Hispanics are pro-life and favor traditional marriage, or one man and one woman.  Hispanics are also very religious and can not be happy with the Obama administration "mandating" Catholic hospitals to discuss abortion with patients.

Last, but not least, I think that most Hispanos like me (naturalized citizens) are specifically aware of the value of "the rule of law" to a country.  Most of us have seen our countries overrun by arbitrary and selective application of the law.  All you have to do is look "south of the border" to see how corruption has hurt Mexico.  Or look at Chavez' Venezuela for crony capitalism.  Or look at how Argentina has been hurt by a political class that takes care of its friends at the expense of the rule of law.

At the same time, look how a respect for the rule of law has helped Chile and turned around Colombia.

I will say it again.  I don't believe that immigration will drive Hispanics to vote this fall.  

I think that this is the election that we blow up the myth that Hispanos are "talking immigration" from dawn to dusk.

Silvio Canto, Jr. www.cantotalk.blogspot.com

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