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Monday, November 11, 2013

California Whites Unhappy With New Illegal Alien Priveleges Laws -- The Los Angeles Times, PatDollard.com

Latinos, whites split on immigrant laws OKd by BrownExcerpted from the Los Angeles Times: California voters are generally welcoming toward immigrants who are in the country illegally, but a wide gap exists between whites and Latinos on some new laws hailed by Gov. Jerry Brown when he signed them last month, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The groups differ most on allowing immigrants without legal status to obtain driver’s licenses and practice law.

Nearly 69% of Latino voters but only 44% of whites support the new driving privilege law. The split was sharper on whether those who are in the country illegally should be allowed to become attorneys, with 65% of Latino voters in favor but only 26% of whites.

Neither law gained majority support among all voters.

To win over a growing Latino electorate, California politicians will continue to push for immigrant-friendly legislation, analysts predicted. The poll shows that 61% of Latinos approve of Brown’s performance, compared with 51% of whites.

“Latino voters are a life preserver for Jerry Brown, and in California they’re a very, very big life preserver, and that goes back to the relative import of cultural and social issues,” said Dan Schnur, director of Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

The bipartisan poll reached 1,503 registered California voters by telephone. It was conducted Oct. 30 through Nov. 5 by two polling firms, one Democratic and one Republican. The margin of error overall is 3.1 percentage points, higher for subgroups such as Latinos.

Brown signed 11 immigrant-related measures this fall, but none generated as much controversy as the long-debated driver’s license bill. The licenses will be marked “DP,” for driving privilege.

Overall, 49% support the license law, with 47% opposed. Support was greater for granting licenses without a distinguishing mark, with 51% in favor, 46% opposed.

A decade ago, polls showed that most California voters disapproved of driver’s licenses for immigrants who are in the country illegally, an issue that contributed to Gov. Gray Davis’ recall. But the state’s demographics have shifted, with Latinos now making up 23% of voters. Whites are also more likely to support the licenses than they were in the past.

“There are two factors at play. One is how much of that change is driven by the Latino population getting larger, and two is how much is driven by white voters changing their minds?” said David Kanevsky of American Viewpoint, the Republican firm that conducted the poll for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, along with the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

As a group, white voters are still less enthusiastic about pro-immigrant measures than Latinos are, drawing the line at rights they see as reserved for citizens.

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