How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Just how independent are Latino voters?

Photo by nathangibbs/Flickr (Creative Commons)

So are Latino voters as solidly behind President Obama as recent polls have indicated, or is there still wiggle room for the GOP before November? A new USA Today/Gallup poll would suggest the latter, but it's necessary to read the fine print.

According to the poll conducted in April and May, 51 percent of Latino respondents overall self-identified as "political independents." Only 32 percent identified as Democrats, and 11 percent as Republicans. Once pressed on which way they lean politically, however, many more leaned Democratic, as did the registered voters. From the poll results:

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There are some interesting side notes. According to Gallup, the poll results "confirm a growing trend toward independent political identification among U.S. Hispanics in recent years, surpassing the 50% mark in 2011" and mirroring a national trend in the general population.


Illegal immigration is down, so why do we keep talking like it isn't?

Photo by The Pope/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A new stretch of border fence, February 2009

A new Gallup poll shows that nearly two out of every three Americans is "dissatisfied with the level of immigration into the country," and that 42 percent want it to decrease. And yet it already has.

The poll results come a little more than a month after Homeland Security officials announced that the arrests of undocumented immigrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally have dipped to a historic low, a level not seen since the early 1970s.

And while the stats recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol aren't perfect, combined with other research, they point to illegal immigration now being down to a mere trickle. In 2000, the agency apprehended 1.6 million people at the border; only 327,577 were caught in fiscal year 2011.

So what gives? The Gallup poll, the results of which were released yesterday, doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration, but chances are it's the latter that respondents continue to be upset about. From the poll results:


Report: If they could, some U.S. Latinos would rather live elsewhere

Source: Gallup

The results of a Gallup study released yesterday show that if some of the nation's Latinos could live elsewhere, they would. Based on a telephone survey of 1,000 Latino adults, the new study shows that more than one in seven, or an estimated 4 million, would leave the United States if they could.

According to Gallup, 52 percent said they would prefer to live in a Latin American country if it were possible, including nearly a third who indicated Mexico. Others would like to be in Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and other nations outside of Latin America.

Those who would rather live elsewhere are more likely to be foreign-born and struggling with finances, language and culture, according to the study. The results reflect how while the United States may be a land of opportunity, life here is not without its struggles, especially for many newcomers. From the report: