STUDY: Divide Between Immigrants and Non-Immigrants Closing

PHOTO: Hundreds of activists, supporters of illegal immigrants and members of the Latino community rally against a new Arizona law in Union Square on May Day on May 1, 2010 in New York City.

Is the United States a harmonious nation of immigrants?

More than half of U.S. residents (55 percent) polled in a recent study by Pew Research Center said that strong conflicts exist today between immigrants and non-immigrants.

If that's depressing to you, the good news is, the number of people who feel that has dropped from last year when 62 percent of those polled said there was a strong conflict.

The study also revealed that the second generation, or children of immigrants, were the most likely to perceive a strong conflict (61 percent of such respondents), while only 49 percent of the first generation respondents, and 55 percent of descendants of immigrants in the third generation and on saw this conflict. Hispanics (61 percent) were more likely than non-Hispanics whites (52 percent) to describe the conflict between immigrants and native born Americans as "strong" or "very strong."

But on a number of other issues measured in the study, Hispanics were least likely to perceive a culture of conflict. Even though the median income of Hispanic household is $11,000 below that of white households, the study also revealed that Hispanic respondents (55 percent) were the less likely to say there are strong conflicts between rich and poor than blacks (65 percent) and whites (56 percent).

Hispanics are also the least likely to perceive conflict between Democrats and Republicans. Seventy-one percent of Latinos said there is a strong conflict between the two parties, while 81 percent of black and white respondents said the same.

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