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Poll: Latinos Overwhelmingly Back Obama's Immigration Action

Image: English-Spanish Signs Front Election Center In Texas
AUSTIN, TX - APRIL 28: A bilingual sign stands outside a polling center at public library ahead of local elections on April 28, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Early voting was due to begin Monday ahead of May 11 statewide county elections. The Democratic and Republican parties are vying for the Latino vote nationwide following President Obama's landslide victory among Hispanic voters in the 2012 election. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)John Moore / Getty Images

Nine out of ten Latino voters support President Barack Obama’s recent action to defer the deportations of more than 4 million immigrants, according to a new poll released by pro-immigration group Latino Decisions.

Poll organizers say Latino backing for the decision surpasses support even for the president’s first deferred action program in 2012 that protected young immigrants from deportation.

The survey found that support was bipartisan, with 76 percent of Latino voters who identify as Republican supporting the President’s action.

The Latino Decisions poll, which surveyed 400 Latino voters, presented different results than the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll that found nearly half of Americans disapprove of the President’s action.

The disparate findings reveal the divide on the issue between Latinos and the rest of the population. But as the importance of the Latino vote continues to grow, the poll’s findings, with a 4.9 percent margin of error, could be taken into consideration for both Republicans and Democrats.

The poll also found that the Latino voters overwhelmingly wanted Congress to also pass comprehensive immigration legislation.

In the recent midterms, Democrats still obtained the majority of support from Latinos, with 62 percent of voting for Democrats, according to national exit polls. But that is lower than the 71 percent of Latinos that voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.

Latino turnout was also lower in 2014, with 8 percent turnout compared to 10 percent in 2012.

But poll organizers say they expect 2016 Latino participation rates to look more like the last presidential election than the recent midterms, and that this poll’s findings of overwhelming support indicates that Latinos will be engaged in 2016. They also point out that the president’s executive order is temporary and could be reversed by his successor, which could also drive Latinos to the polls.

“Looking forward to elections in 2016, this poll also shows that Latino voters will look favorably on candidates ready to support humane, practical and bold solutions geared to providing immigration status for immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization,” Oscar Chacon, executive director of National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, said.


- Leigh Ann Caldwell