USC / LA Times poll indicates California voters more tolerant of undocumented immigrants

Oct 29, 2012

An U.S. Customs and Border Protection bike patrol agent assists Mexican’s being returned to Mexico after they were apprehended for entering the United States illegally June 2, 2010 in Nogales, Arizona. A fence which separates the cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora Mexico is a frequent crossing point for people entering the United States illegally. During the 2009 fiscal year 540,865 undocumented immigrants were apprehended entering the United States illegally along the Mexican border, 241,000 of those were captured in the 262 mile stretch of the border known as the Tucson Sector. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A recent poll from USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times shows a trend towards acceptance of undocumented immigrants in California. In 1994, Proposition 187, a ballot initiative banning undocumented immigrants from California public schools and hospitals, passed with 59 percent of the vote, though most of the measures were never enacted.

The new poll shows that today, the proposition might not pass at all: results were nearly tied. Though there are no propositions on immigration reform on this year’s ballot, the survey results are a sign of a shift in attitudes towards immigrants who enter the country illegally. Though some of this change has to do with the increasing Latino population, analysts argue it’s indicative of a larger movement towards tolerance for undocumented immigrants.

How might opinions on immigration continue to change? What kinds of propositions concerning undocumented immigrants might California see on future ballots?


Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and adjunct faculty at USC Annenberg School

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