December 28, 2011

As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy

III. Awareness and Views of Immigrant Deportations

Not all Latinos are aware that deportations have risen to record levels during the Obama administration.

When asked which administration has deported more unauthorized immigrants, a plurality (41%) of Latinos say they believe that the Obama administration is deporting more unauthorized immigrants than the Bush administration. Some 36% of Latinos say the two administrations have deported about the same number of immigrants. And 10% of Latinos say the Obama administration has deported fewer unauthorized immigrants than the Bush administration.

Awareness of the level of deportations is higher among foreign-born Hispanics than among native-born Hispanics—55% versus 25%. And among immigrant Hispanics who are not U.S. citizens and do not have a green card—the group most likely to be affected by increased deportations—71% say the Obama administration has deported more unauthorized immigrants than the Bush administration.

Views of Deportations

By a ratio of more than two-to-one (59% versus 27%), Latinos say they disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling the deportation of unauthorized immigrants.

Disapproval is much higher among foreign-born Latinos (70%) than native-born Latinos (46%).

Among Hispanic registered voters, 52% say they disapprove of the Obama administration’s handling of deportations, while 31% say they approve.

Among those who are aware that deportations have reached record levels during Obama’s tenure, more than three-quarters (77%) disapprove of the administration’s deportation policy. Among those who are not aware that deportations have increased, slightly more than half disapprove.

Familiarity with Detainment and Deportation

One-in-four (24%) Hispanics say they personally know someone who has been detained or deported by the federal government in the past year.

Familiarity with detainment and deportation is highest among foreign-born Hispanics who are not U.S. citizens and not legal residents. Among this group, more than a third (36%) say they know someone who has been deported or detained in the past year.

However, familiarity with detainment and deportation is not limited to the foreign born. One-in-five (22%) native-born Hispanics say they personally know someone who has been detained or deported by the federal government in the past 12 months. And among Hispanic registered voters, one-in-five (20%) say they know someone who has been deported or detained.

Cite this publication: Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Seth Motel. “As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (December 28, 2011) http://www.pewhispanic.org/2011/12/28/as-deportations-rise-to-record-levels-most-latinos-oppose-obamas-policy/, accessed on July 23, 2014.