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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Poll highlights young Americans’ tolerance and acceptance of undocumented immigrants

Poll highlights young Americans’ tolerance and acceptance of undocumented immigrants

LatinaLista — Contrary to what is being seen in Congress, state legislatures and some city councils, a new poll shows that not all Americans mirror their political leaders’ attitudes towards undocumented immigrants. In fact, there is only one overwhelming portion of American society that refuse to see undocumented immigrants any other way but as threatening — senior citizens.

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The poll, Immigration and Racial Change: Are All Generations On The Same Page?

A Survey of Attitudes toward Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity, found that:

Overall, most Americans hold a neutral position toward immigrants with perhaps a slight tilt toward negative views. Broken down by age, young people are slightly more positive toward immigrants. When asked what kind of impact immigrants had on their community as opposed to the country, all respondents are less negative in their responses and young Americans are significantly more positive in their assessment of the impact of immigrants than are older Americans.

The poll also revealed that almost 50 percent of younger Americans felt that the government should spend more time on integrating undocumented immigrants into US society and is spending too much time on trying to stop illegal immigration.

While overall, younger Americans displayed a tolerance lacking among seniors, those over the age of 60 further illustrated their intolerance of the country’s changing demographics with:

  • The majority opposing legal immigrants be allowed to vote in elections.
  • Almost half (47%) feeling strongly or somewhat that the impact on the United States when, 20 years from now, the majority of the U.S. population will be non-whites or members of current minority groups, will be negative.
  • Oppose the building of a mosque

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Unfortunately, the poll showed that there are some areas that young Americans are in lockstep with their older counterparts. Namely, agreeing with Arizona’s SB 1070 law, including a provision that requires people to prove to police officers that they are citizens or legal immigrants and making English the official language.

For the most part, the poll provides hope for the country’s future. It illustrates that a generation that intimately knows integration and diversity can get beyond the simple but crippling differences projected from today’s older generation — and which are proving to be a stalemate in our nation’s politics and race relations.

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