[Marxism] Who can blame them?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed May 21 16:24:35 MDT 2014

NY Times, May 21 2014
Young Undocumented Immigrants Growing Disenchanted With Both Parties, 
Study Finds

Only about half of young immigrants who grew up in the United States 
without legal status identify with the Democratic Party, while nearly 
half say they are independents or have some other nonparty affiliation, 
according to a study published Tuesday.

The findings run counter to perceptions that the young immigrants, who 
are known as “Dreamers,” overwhelmingly favor Democrats, and suggest 
that their political views will be shaped by what progress is made in 
Washington on an immigration overhaul that would provide a path to 

The study also reveals skepticism among the youths about both political 
parties, although more so about Republicans. According to the study, 
about four in 10 felt closer to the Democratic Party based on its 
positions on immigration, while 5 percent said they felt closer to the 
Republicans because of their views. Four in 10 young immigrants said 
they could not support Democrats “as long as immigration reform is not 

The nationwide study is based on one of the largest surveys to date of 
undocumented youths, who have been difficult to sample because of their 
immigration status. The results come from responses from 1,472 
immigrants in surveys conducted in late 2013 and early this year. The 
study was led by Tom K. Wong, a professor of political science at the 
University of California, San Diego. It was commissioned by Unbound 
Philanthropy, a foundation that funds immigrant and refugee rights 
groups, and the United We Dream Network, an advocacy group.

The study was conducted on the Internet, and used advertisements on 
Facebook to draw responses. The authors urge caution in making 
generalizations from the results, “given the limitations of the sampling 

But the findings about the youths’ political views are significant 
because even though none can vote, since they are not citizens, they 
have shown they can have an impact on Latinos who do vote. As a group, 
the youths are politically active, according to the study, with four in 
10 having attended a rally or demonstration, compared with 6 percent of 
people surveyed in the 2012 American National Election Study, a national 
poll. Nearly half of the youths in the immigrant study said they had 
participated in voter mobilization efforts in 2012, with nearly 
three-quarters supporting President Obama’s re-election.

The views of young immigrants and Latino voters were swayed in that race 
because of a highly popular program of deportation deferrals the 
president announced in June 2012 for undocumented immigrants who came to 
this country as children. In 2012, Latinos supported Mr. Obama over his 
Republican rival, Mitt Romney, by 71 percent to 27 percent. However, 
since then, the youths, and Latinos in general, have grown more wary of 
Democrats, several polls have shown, as immigration legislation has 
stalled in Washington and the administration has approached a record of 
two million deportations.

In the study, nearly three-quarters of young immigrants said their 
support of Democrats in the future would depend on whether the party 
worked to “address the issue of separation of families because of 

The study comes as young immigrants are getting ready to renew their 
deportation deferrals, which are temporary documents, including Social 
Security numbers and work permits, valid for two years. About nine in 10 
of the youths replying to the survey had received deferrals, and they 
said their finances had improved as a result. Nearly three-quarters of 
the youths said they had started their first job or moved to a better 
job after being granted deferrals.

The respondents were from 42 states and the District of Columbia. 
Although the study was commissioned by groups that actively support 
comprehensive overhaul legislation, it is useful because it provides a 
rare look at the demographics and immigration history of young 
undocumented immigrants.

While they included people born in 60 countries, nine in 10 of those 
responding said they were Latino and about three-quarters were from a 
single country: Mexico. As a group, they had a relatively high level of 
education, with about three-quarters having some college or more. 
Slightly more than two-thirds of those surveyed said their education had 
been delayed because of their illegal status.

Their income and their family income were generally low, with 
three-quarters reporting annual income of less than $25,000 and only one 
in five reporting enough personal income to meet monthly bills and expenses.

Just over half of the immigrants came to the United States when they 
were 7 years old or younger. About two-thirds entered illegally, and 
about one-third came on legal visas, mainly tourist visas, and overstayed.

In findings that help show what is behind the current political demands 
of undocumented-youth organizations, a large majority — more than 80 
percent — of those surveyed had at least one parent without legal 
papers. At the same time, over half of them have siblings who are 
American citizens and two-thirds have some other family member who is a 
citizen. Undocumented-youth groups are pressing Congress for an overhaul 
with a path to citizenship for all 11.5 million immigrants here 
illegally, not just for the young people who call themselves Dreamers, 
after the Dream Act, a bill that would create a formal path to 
citizenship for young people who came here as children. They are also 
pressuring Mr. Obama to slow the pace of deportations.

About one in 10 in the study identify as lesbian, gay or transgender.

The study noted that because the immigrants “self-selected” to respond 
to an online survey and were not chosen based on a probability sample, 
no estimates of sampling error could be made.

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