WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A briefing today at NCLR (National Council of La Raza) addressed new data from The George Washington University (GW) which show that most U.S. voters have positive views of undocumented immigrants. Most voters surveyed consider undocumented immigrants "family and community oriented" (71%) and agreed they "fill jobs Americans don't want" (67%). A majority disagreed that undocumented immigrants "are 'cheaters' here just to help themselves" (59 percent), "belong to gangs and commit many crimes" (56 percent), or "threaten our traditional American culture" (56 percent).
"Among American voters today, there is a substantial, multidimensional and widespread favorable attitude toward undocumented immigrants," said Dr. Michael Cornfield, Associate Professor of Political Management and Research Director, Global Center for Political Engagement, GW. "Political strategists and policymakers should take these majority attitudes into serious consideration."
"We have seen Trump-types throughout American history make such vile comments and for a while it appeals to people's fears," said Edward Schumacher-Matos, a public policy scholar at The Wilson Center. "In the 19th century, it appealed to a populist movement that proudly called itself the Know-Nothings and who accused Irish Catholic immigrants of being ape-like and criminals. But sooner or later, as this poll shows, the vast majority of Americans catch on."
"The findings show that the majority of voters disagree with Donald Trump's offensive remarks, and that demonizing immigrants will not win the White House," said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation, NCLR. "The vast majority of Americans believe immigrants make valuable contributions to our nation."
"Our study of GOP primary voters in early states along with general election voters in swing states indicates that the strongest candidate is one who supports a multistep path toward legal status for undocumented immigrants, along with much stronger border security," said Katie Packer of Burning Glass Consulting. "This combination of accountability and compassion is the sweet spot for a majority of American voters."
The analysis, authored by Dr. Cornfield, Dr. F. Christopher Arterton and Jamie P. Chandler of GW's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), was based on data collected from 1,000 registered voters during a May 3–6, 2015, bipartisan nationwide poll. Founded in 1987, GW's GSPM is the first and foremost school of applied politics and advocacy.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
SOURCE National Council of La Raza