Immigration reform is once again the number one political issue for Latino voters.
Latino Decisions released new polling data [PDF] today that found 58 percent of Latino registered voters now cite immigration reform as the top priority for Congress and the President, up from 35 percent in November 2012.
On the Latino Decisions blog, Matt Barreto summarized the polls findings and explained why immigration reform is back on top as the number one issue for Latinos voters:
One reason is that 63% of Latino voters say they personally know someone who is an undocumented immigrant, either a member of their family or a close personal friend. Further, 39% of Latino voters say they personally know someone, or a family who has faced deportation or detention for immigration reasons, and increase of 14 points over 2011, when 25% of Latino voters said they personally knew someone who had faced deportation or detention. It is clear that the immigration reform issue is one that Latinos agree with in principle, but that Latino voters are also directly connected to, and intertwined with the undocumented immigrant population in the United States. Finally, the poll asked Latino voters if they knew any young immigrants who had applied for the 2012 "deferred action" program that would allow DREAM Act-eligible immigrants to live in the U.S. and attend college with temporary visas. More than one in five Latino voters (22%) knows someone who has already applied for deferred action, with 18% saying they know someone who is eligible, but not yet applied.
"There is no segmenting Latinos into those for whom immigration is important and those who have little interest. Immigration reform is a highly salients issue across all generations, national origin groups and even political parties. Latino voters are asking for comprehensive immigration reform. Period," said Gary Segura, co-founder of Latino Decisions in a statement.
Latino Decisions interviewed 800 Latino registered voters via landline and mobile phone, across all 50 states, from February 15-26, 2013. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish.
The poll was sponsored by America's Voice, National Council of La Raza, and SEIU.