NPR : News

Poll: Most African-Americans Support Immigration Reform

A new poll commissioned by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights finds that black Americans solidly support legislation to overhaul the immigration system in the country.

A reform proposal that includes a path to citizenship received the support of 66 percent of the more than 800 African-American likely voters polled by Lake Research Partners.

"This support holds up after hearing both anti- and pro-reform messages, including hot button issues of the potential for immigrants to take jobs away from African Americans (Final ballot: 69% favor, 14% oppose)," the report (pdf) finds.

The Root has a little more from a conference call about the poll:

"On a call with reporters, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president and CEO Wade Henderson took on the perception that African Americans believe that they compete with immigrants for jobs and wages and do not support immigration reform, arguing that it hinged on a 'troubling double standard.'

" 'When nativists sow this sentiment among Whites, it tends to be discounted and rightly treated as extremism,' Henderson said. 'But when they sow it among African Americans, the resulting sentiment tends to be overvalued and treated as an essential part of the discussion — instead of being recognized as a cynical attempt to pit two vulnerable minority communities against one another. We're here today to put this controversy to rest; to show how African Americans take pride in our nation's democratic values, our diversity, and our ingenuity.'"

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