LATINO VOICES
04/09/2013 02:02 pm ET Updated Apr 09, 2013

Border Security Hawks Aren't Racist, Most Americans Say: Poll

Immigration hawks worried about appearing racist can breathe a sigh of relief.

Only 11 percent of U.S. voters think people who want to secure the border and prevent illegal immigration are racist, according to a poll released this week by Rasmussen Reports. (See the wording here.)

The number was higher for liberals, with 22 percent saying they thought border security advocates were racist, according to Breitbart, which asked Rassmussen for the crosstab data.

Nine percent of conservatives and 6 percent of moderates said immigration hardliners are racist, according to Breitbart.

It's not all good news, however. While 67 percent of the 1,000 respondents said they think border security enthusiasts aren't racist, some 22 percent aren't sure. As the Phoenix New Times points out, that leaves about a third of voters who can't say with confidence that they think immigration hawks aren't racist.

Immigration reform, which is solidly backed by Latino voters, became one of the most contentious issues of the 2012 presidential race, driving a wedge between a large swath of the Republican base and the growing number of Hispanic voters.

A bipartisan group of legislators is expected to submit a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform this congressional session -- perhaps as soon as the end of this week.

Many Conservatives who oppose immigration reform bristle at the implication that their wholehearted support of immigration policies opposed by solid majorities of Latinos implies racism.

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