Society

1 in 3 Americans Believe Most Hispanics are Illegal Immigrants

| by Michael Allen

A new poll by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions claims that over 30 percent of non-Hispanic Americans believe that the majority of Hispanics are undocumented.  

However, the actual figure of undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. is around 18 percent, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Matt Barreto at Latino Decisions told NBCLatino.com: “There is widespread exposure to negative stereotypes of Latinos in the media, and exposure to these images and stereotypes does have a causal effect on people’s perceptions.”

There is some good news in the polling. About 90 percent of non-Latino Americans think Latinos are family-oriented, hard-working (81%), religious (81%) and honest (76%).

However, 1 out of 2 non-Latinos think “welfare recipient” describes Latinos very or somewhat well (51%), as well as “less educated” (50%),  and “refuse to learn English” (44%).

National Hispanic Media Coalition president and CEO Alex Nogales blamed the media: "The media is doing a disservice with coverage that is misleading the public about Latinos who live in the U.S. It is producing attitudes among non-Latinos that contribute to hate speech and hate crimes. We must demand that the media do a better job with its coverage.”