Seven in Ten Hispanics Say Immigrants Should Learn English

Seven in Ten Hispanics Say Immigrants Should Learn English

New study by New American Dimensions finds a majority of Hispanics feel unfairly singled out on immigration issue


Los Angeles, CA–(PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE)–March 11, 2008–Hispanics are concerned about the treatment of immigrants in the United States, both in terms of immigration policy and the way they are portrayed in the media. Nevertheless, six in ten feel that Hispanic immigrants should “follow the rules and come to the U.S. legally.”

Contrary to how they are portrayed by anti-immigration activists, a majority of respondents — particularly more recent immigrants — feel strongly that immigrants have an obligation to learn English. Despite a desire to integrate, nearly half of Hispanics worry about themselves or family members being deported.

A new study conducted by Los Angeles based multicultural research firm New American Dimensions suggests that companies — or candidates during this election year — that openly support the rights of Hispanic immigrants are likely to garner favor with this segment, the largest minority group in the United States. The survey consisted of a telephone survey of 1,000 Hispanic respondents between the ages of 18 and 64. Highlights of the study, which is available at, include:

— Despite common perceptions to the contrary, Hispanic immigrants were significantly more in agreement than those born in the U.S. that immigrants should learn English if they plan to stay in this country. 80% of the foreign born agreed, compared to only 60% of the U.S. born.

— Half of respondents felt that “Hispanics are often treated like second class citizens in the U.S.” One-half of respondents also agreed that the media does a very poor job of showing the Hispanic experience in America.

— Seven in ten feel that illegal immigration has benefited the U.S. economy and six in ten feel that it has benefited U.S. society overall. Six in ten felt that the United States has a moral obligation to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

— Half of Hispanic adults, about one in five Hispanic immigrants, are U.S. citizens. Among citizens, 83% expressed an intention to vote in November. Of the non-citizens, seven in ten stated that the recent debate about immigration has made them more interested in pursuing citizenship.

— 55% of Hispanic citizens consider themselves Democrat, 24% Independent and 13% Republican. When asked for whom they would vote if the U.S. presidential election were held today, 36% said Hillary Clinton, 21% Barack Obama and 6% John McCain.

“Our study demonstrates that the notion that Hispanics do not want to integrate into U.S. society is erroneous,” said David Morse, President and CEO of New American Dimensions, which provides customized multicultural consumer research. ( “Hispanic immigrants are learning English, raising their children as Hispanic Americans, and engaging in the political process.”

According to Thomas Tseng, Principal and Co-founder of the firm, “Despite widely miss-held assertions to the contrary, our research shows that Hispanic immigrants would like nothing more than what previous generations of immigrants have achieved — to become American.”

The results of the study can be found at the company’s website at

For more information on the study or to arrange an interview with David Morse, please contact Susanna Whitmore at 310-670-7835 or email

Seven in Ten Hispanics Say Immigrants Should Learn English