Latinos, whites split on immigrant laws OKd by Brown

“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.

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.


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