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Study: Relaxed Deportation More Favorable Than Path To Citizenship

A group of protesters in San Antonio on Dec. 12 call for the end of deportations.
Joey Palacios
A group of protesters in San Antonio on Dec. 12 call for the end of deportations.

Living and working in the United States with reduced threat of deportation outweighs the desire for a direct path to citizenship for many Latinos and Asian-Americans, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Institute.

By 55% to 35%, Hispanics say that 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, albeit by a smaller margin—49% to 44%.

A survey of 700 Latinos and 800 Asian-Americans conducted by Pew in October shows that Latinos worry more about deportation by a large margin; 46 percent of all Latinos are concerned, while 59 percent of foreign-born Latinos claim it’s on their mind either ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ of the time. Only 16 percent of all and 18 percent of foreign-born Asian-American find themselves worrying that a friend or family member could be deported.

Joey Palacios

A group of protesters in San Antonio on Dec. 12 call for the end of deportations.

The report states that Latinos and Asian-Americans make two-thirds of the 28 million immigrants in the U.S. legally. Latinos make up 75 percent of the immigrants in the country illegally.

A call to end deportation has been echoing in the halls of Congress this month. On Dec. 5, 30 members of Congress sent President Barack Obama a letter calling for a pause in deportations.

Although not included in that list, former House Speaker and Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi took to Telemundo this past Sunday to call on the President to save deportations for criminals. From Politico:

“Our view of the law is, if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation,” Pelosi said during the interview. “If someone has broken the law or committed a felony or something, that is a different story."

“When most people are apprehended, they are deported,” she continued. “I don’t see any reason for these deportations.”

Deportations under the Obama administration have been high compared to past presidents. Since 2009 when Obama took office at least 1.5 million people have been deported from the United States, and 750,000 were convicted criminals, according to Pew and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.