Latino Support for Obama on Immigration Is Way Up

The president's ratings on the issue have skyrocketed.

February 21, 2013, 9:45 AM

February 21, 2013— -- To date, 63 percent of Latinos approve of President Barack Obama's handling of immigration -- that's up from November 2011 when only 28 percent felt the same, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center.

When campaigning for president in 2008, Obama pledged to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill in his first term. That didn't happen, to the frustration of many U.S. Hispanics.

"You promised that, and a promise is a promise," Univision anchor Jorge Ramos told Obama during the 2012 campaign. "And with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise."

Obama labeled his inability to pass an immigration bill the "biggest failure" of his first term during the interview with Univision. But it seems his recent efforts to push a bill through Congress are helping his standing with Latinos on the issue.

Seventy-three percent of Latinos say Obama has a better approach to immigration than congressional Republicans, according to the new Pew Report. The general public also favors Obama's approach to immigration to that of congressional Republicans by a 50-33 percent margin.

The report also revealed that fewer Americans now believe that border security should be the top priority in dealing with "illegal immigration," falling from 35 percent in February 2011 to 25 percent in February 2013.

In addition, more of those polled (51 percent) said immigration legislation should be a priority for the president and Congress, as opposed to gun control legislation (46 percent) or climate change policies (34 percent).

The survey, which was done in collaboration with USA TODAY, was conducted from February 13-18, polling 1,504 adults by phone nationwide.

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