Current Weather
The Spy FM

Children of Latino Immigrants Skew Even More Democratic Than Parents, Study Says

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
February 7, 2013

Immigrants from Asia and Latin America are more conservative than their U.S.-born children, according to a new study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

And while most immigrants from Asia and Latin America identify with the Democratic Party, the report found that Hispanic members of the second-generation — those born in the United States with at least one parent born outside of the country — were even more likely to identify as Democrats than their parents.

That Democratic-leaning identification grew from 63 percent among first-generation Hispanics to 71 percent among their children.

Second-generation Asian Americans showed no change in party identification, but still leaned overwhelmingly Democratic, at 52 percent compared to 32 percent Republican.

Among the general public, 49 percent of Americans identify as Democratic, compared to 39 percent as Republican, said Pew, whose report was based on an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Data.

The study found a big gap between immigrant parents and their children on social issues like abortion and gay rights. About half of all Latino immigrants feel that gays should be accepted by society, but among their children, that acceptance jumps to about two-thirds. Among Asians, that spike is even more pronounced: 46 percent of the first-generation think homosexuality should be accepted; 78 percent of the second-generation feel that it should be.

On the issue of abortion, the study found that 33 percent of first-generation Latinos thought it should be legal compared to 55 percent of the second generation who were in favor of abortion rights. While about half of first-generation Asians felt abortion should be legal, two-thirds of the second generation felt that way.

But this trend didn’t necessarily hold true for views about the role of government. While Latinos were much more likely to prefer an activist government than Americans at large, there’s a dip in support for bigger government between the immigrant generation (83 percent) and their American-born children (71 percent).

The same was true for Asian Americans: About six in 10 first-generation immigrants supported bigger government, compared to just under half of their children.

“One of the things is that there’s a correlation between vulnerable populations and big government,” Pew’s Paul Taylor said. “That may explain the very high levels of support for bigger government, particularly for first-generation Latinos.”

The report comes as Congress and the White House consider how to reform the country’s immigration system, and as Republicans try to reach out to Latino and Asian-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in last November’s presidential election. Almost all of the growth in the nation’s working-age population from now until 2050 will come from immigrants and their children, which means that winning voters from those demographics will be crucial to the parties’ electoral successes.

The study also found that second-generation Latinos and Asian Americans were also nearly twice as likely to see themselves as “typical Americans” compared to their parents. But majorities from both groups say they most often identify themselves as from the country of their ancestors.

“The metaphor that people used in the 20th century about immigrants and integration was … America’s a melting pot,” Taylor said. “I think the better metaphor for the 21st century might be a mosaic” — that is, distinct parts of a larger whole.

“They do have a sense of being part of this country while also hanging onto their identities,” he said. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center