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New Study Shows Latinos Differ from Non-Hispanic Americans on Responses to U.S.-Mexico Border Challenges

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center sheds light on Latino viewpoints regarding the ongoing challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border, revealing nuanced perspectives on potential solutions. Released on Monday, Pew’s analysis indicates that while a majority of Latinos recognize the troubles at the border, they differ from other Americans in their attitudes towards responses such as increased deportations and border wall expansion.

According to the survey, approximately three-quarters of Latinos perceive the escalating number of migrants attempting to cross the border as a significant problem or crisis. Similarly, a comparable portion expresses dissatisfaction with the federal government’s management of the situation.

The survey findings reveal a divergence in opinion on effective strategies. While around two-thirds of Latinos advocate for expediting asylum decisions through bolstering judicial and staffing resources, 58% believe that expanding legal migration pathways could alleviate the issue. In contrast, only a third of Hispanics support heightened deportations of undocumented individuals, and merely a quarter endorse substantial expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

In contrast, a majority of non-Hispanic Americans (55%) endorse increased deportations as a means to address the crisis, with 45% supporting border wall expansion.

Immigration has emerged as a central issue in the 2024 election, with Republicans making gains among Latino voters.

The Pew survey, based on responses from over 5,000 American adults, including 879 Hispanics, was conducted between January 16 and 21.

These findings come amid record-high encounters reported by Customs and Border Protection, exceeding 300,000 in a single month. Encounters encompass individuals apprehended at the border, including those released pending asylum decisions or promptly removed.

The survey delves into proposed solutions to the migrant crisis. Most Latino respondents (57%) endorse facilitating legal work opportunities for migrants awaiting asylum decisions, while less than half (40%) support increased resources for temporary accommodations upon arrival in the U.S.

Regarding reasons for migration, both Latino and non-Latino respondents attribute the phenomenon to adverse economic conditions in Latin America and promising opportunities in the U.S. However, Democratic Latinos are more inclined to acknowledge violence in migrants’ home countries as a driving factor, whereas Republican Latinos are likelier to attribute migration to perceived leniency in U.S. immigration policies.