Latinos souring on illegal immigration By Ryan Hagen, San Bernardino County Sun Posted: 10/30/2010 03:41:02 PM PDTWhile you may notice Mexicans displacing whites and blacks, the first people they'll displace are Mexican-Americans. Raymond Herrera, mentioned in this story, used to have a carpentry business.
A new study shows Latinos have soured considerably on illegal immigration in the last three years.
In 2007, 50percent of Latinos surveyed told the Pew Hispanic Center that the growing number of illegal immigrants was a positive force for the existing Latino population. In a Pew survey released Thursday, that number had plummeted to 29percent.
Thirty-one percent said illegal immigration had a negative effect, and 20percent said it had no effect.
While the wording of the question changed slightly in 2010 - striking the phrase "growing number" to reflect studies that show illegal immigration declining - several local advocates on different sides of the issue called the change in perception unsurprising.
Those Inland Empire voices diverged significantly, however, when it came to explaining the shift and what it means for immigration policy.
Raymond Herrera, president and founder of a Claremont-based group called We the People, California's Crusader, said political will has been shifting since 2004.
Herrera said that's when activists like him began loudly calling for reform, slowly building what he said is a national consensus that illegal immigrants should be deported.
"The Minutemen stood up six years ago and brought the awareness level to the American people," he said. "It is now at an apex where ... enough people have had their American dream stolen (by illegal immigrants)."[Read more]