Poll Shows Blacks, Whites View Immigration Similarly
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WASHINGTON — Blacks and whites hold similar views on whether legal immigration should be decreased or tailored to maintain current levels, a new survey says.
The poll conducted by Global Strategy Group between late September and early October found that 41 percent of whites and 36 percent of blacks said that legal immigration should be decreased. Among Hispanics and Jews, only 24 percent and 28 percent, respectively, said it should be decreased. “The poll exposes a racial divide on the issue of immigration, but also an age unity among young people who welcome increased immigration and increased diversity,” said Benjamin Chavis, resident of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, who, along with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, commissioned the poll.
Mr. Chavis said that when all the poll’s data components are combined, “You see older white and older black Americans are more uncomfortable with increased immigration, but younger whites, Jews, Hispanics and blacks are embracing diversity.”
Among the 50 states, California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii have populations in which minorities make up the majority of residents, as opposed to 15 years ago, when only California held that distinction, Mr. Chavis said. Another nine states, including New York and Florida, rapidly are approaching so-called “majority-minority” status, and numerous Census Bureau population studies have concluded that whites will become a minority in the United States within 40 years.
Younger generations seem to be more accepting of this trend and more tolerant of other ethnic groups, the poll found.
“Eighteen to 34-year-olds … for four out of every five questions, this age groups scores the same or higher when it comes to being sympathetic or sensitized to issues surrounding race and ethnic demographic changes,” according to the surveys.
Still, the poll showed a wide gap between the views of whites and minorities.
The views of Hispanics were found to be in between those of whites and blacks on most issues, but largely sided with blacks on issues of economics, race discrimination and poverty.
For instance, when asked if the nation was headed in the right direction, 52 percent of whites and 56 percent of Hispanics responded in the negative, compared with 75 percent of blacks and 70 percent of Jews.
When asked whether President Bush has done too much or too little to improve race relations, 45 percent of whites responded that he had done too little, compared with 79 percent of blacks, 58 percent of Hispanics and 67 percent of Jews.
(Posted on November 23, 2005)