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Poll: Immigration most important political issue for Latinos

It is a stressful time for many immigrants in the United States right now who fear that strict anti-illegal immigration laws being adopted in many states could tear their families apart. Not surprisingly, yesterday it was announced that a recent poll of Hispanic voters found that immigration tops the list as their number one political issue.

"Our poll suggests immigration politics are now key to Hispanic voters," said a professor of political science at Stanford University who runs Latino Decisions, the organization that conducted the poll. There were 500 Hispanic registered voters who were surveyed for the poll, including both immigrants and people born in the United States.

The poll asked Hispanics to name the most important issue that they are currently facing and 51 percent of the people responded with immigration. The economy and jobs was the next highest response, which accounted for 35 percent of the answers. The third highest response of education came in at 18 percent.

As South Carolina and several other states are seriously considering reforming their immigration laws and states such as Georgia, Alabama and Arizona have all recently enacted stricter immigration laws, immigration policy has become extremely important to those who are affected by it.

This has been a big change in the past several months. In fact, a poll last fall found that only 23 percent of Hispanics cited immigration as their primary concern. Instead, 49 percent said that the economy and jobs were their biggest concern.

It is estimated that about 11 million immigrants currently live in the United States illegally, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization. The poll mentioned above also found that 53 percent of the participants said they knew an undocumented immigrant living in the country. An additional 25 percent reported that they knew someone who had been detained or deported by ICE.

If you know someone who needs help with documentation, it's important to act now before it's too late. Contact an immigration attorney or another trustworthy resource in your area for guidance.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Immigration Replaces Economy as Top Latino Issue," Miriam Jordan, 6/13/2011.

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