By a hefty margin, Hispanics say they think being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important for unauthorized immigrants than a pathway to citizenship. Asian-Americans hold a similar view, but by a smaller margin.
Two new surveys from the Pew Research Center examine each group’s views on immigration.
While immigration reform languished in the most recent Congress, there are signs from the leadership of the Republican-controlled House that an abbreviated version of reform may be on the table for 2014. A provision for a 13-year pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants has been a sticking point.
The survey suggests there may be room for a compromise that would satisfy the politically emergent immigrant community.
Hispanics and Asian-Americans account for two-thirds of the 28 million immigrants in the United States legally. Hispanics account for about three-quarters of the additional 11.7 million immigrants who, according to Pew estimates, are in the country illegally .
According to the new survey of Hispanics, about six in 10 of the immigrants and 46 percent of all Hispanics say they worry “a lot” or “some” that they, a family member or a close friend could be deported.
By contrast, just 18 percent of Asian-American immigrants and 16 percent of all Asian-Americans say the same.
Fifty-five percent of Hispanics surveyed say they think being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important than a pathway to citizenship. Asian-Americans hold a similar view, but only 49 percent to 44 percent.
If any immigration bill dies, the survey found that 43 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of Asian-Americans say they would mostly blame Republicans. But 34 percent of Hispanics and 29 percent of Asian-Americans say they would hold Democrats and President Obama mainly responsible.