Migrant crossings major problem for 75% of US Hispanics: Pew

  • 38% of polled Hispanics don't consider immigration a "crisis"
  • U.S. Border Patrol reported 250,000 migrant encounters in December
  • 75% of Hispanics believe the economy should be the top priority

Most migrants encountered by U.S. Border Patrol in this group that crossed into Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sept. 6, 2022, wore black. But dark clothing now is dangerous as hunting season has started in South Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

(NewsNation) — Nearly three months after U.S. Border Patrol officials encountered a record number of migrant encounters at the southern border, immigration remains a major issue on the minds of most Americans.

That includes U.S. Hispanics, 75% of whom describe the increase in migrants crossing the southern border as a major problem or crisis, a recent Pew Research poll showed. Of those polled, 74% are also critical of the U.S. government’s handling of the crisis.

However, Hispanics are less likely than non-Hispanics to describe what’s happening with migrants crossing the border as a crisis, the Pew poll revealed. Hispanics are also less likely to consider the situation a crisis as only 38% of those polled fall into that category. Other categories included “major problem”, “minor problem” and “not a problem”, of which only 6% of Hispanics and 4% of non-Hispanics chose.

Among non-Hispanics, 47% consider the situation a crisis rather than a major problem. Most of the migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are coming from Latin American countries, data shows, but more newcomers are arriving from places like China, Russia and India.

In December, U.S. Border officials reported they had encountered 250,000 migrants at the southern border during that month alone. The record number of encounters was the highest reported by the government since May 2022, when border officials reported 224,000 encounters.

The survey also found that 51% of Hispanics say they believe immigration should be a top priority for President Joe Biden and Congress to address this year. However, more Hispanics put other issues ahead of the migrant crisis at the top of the list of issues needing attention.

By January, encounters fell to around 124,000 — a drop of 42% from December — which coincides with when Pew conducted its polling.

Pew polling shows 75% of Hispanics feel that strengthening the economy should be the top priority for Biden and lawmakers. Improving the U.S. educational system was the top issue for 66% of those polled, while 65% of Hispanics felt improving jobs in America should take priority.

Many Hispanics also feel there are potential benefits that can come from policy proposals that have been introduced to deal with securing the southern border. However, only one-third or less of respondents saw possible policies as helping deal with the matter.


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