Hispanics, Asians Prefer Deportation Relief over Pathway to Citizenship

by Andrew Johnson

Hispanics and Asian Americans would rather see relief from deportation than a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, according to a new Pew survey. A pathway to citizenship is one of the key points of contention in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill.

While an overwhelming amount of each demographic group said they would like to see a pathway, that illegal immigrants be able to legally live in the United States without threat of deportation was more important to them. Pew found that Hispanics prefer legal status with no threat of deportation 55 percent to 35 percent; among Asian Americans, the view was split 49 percent to 44.

Even though both groups want deportation relief, Hispanics fear deportation almost three times as much as Asian Americans. Nearly 60 percent of foreign-born Hispanics worry “a lot” or “some” about either someone close to them or themselves being deported versus just 18 percent of foreign-born Asian Americans.

Nonetheless, a pathway to citizenship remains popular among both groups. Eighty-nine percent of Hispanics and 72 percent of Asian Americans are in favor of a pathway being part of immigration reform.