June 15 2010


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             Contact: Ali Jost, SEIU, (202) 730-7159
May 14, 2010                                                                      Paco Fabián , NCLR, (202) 785-1670



Growing Frustration Will Have Huge Electoral Impact in Arizona and Nationwide

Washington, DC—Today in a telephonic briefing, Eliseo Medina, Service5 Employees International Union (SEIU) Executive Vice President, and Clarissa Martínez De Castro, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Director of Immigration and National Campaigns, joined Gary Seguro and Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions and Ben Patinkin of Grove Insight to discuss two new polls showing that Arizona Latino voters overwhelmingly oppose SB 1070, are increasingly frustrated by federal inaction, and are moving swiftly away from candidates who support the bill.

Experts also discussed how support of SB 1070 among non-Latino voters reflects mounting frustration over the federal government's failure to pass a workable immigration solution. “This polling data confirms what we have known for a long time,” said Medina. “American voters, Latino and non-Latino alike, are angry and increasingly fed up with Congress’s continued failure to fix our broken immigration system. In the absence of a practical fix by Congress, voters will grasp at straws for anything they believe delivers action.”

“Yet there is clearly a political cost among Latino voters,” Medina continued. “Arizona Latino voters' widespread opposition to SB 1070 shows that frivolous, reactionary state laws just serve to galvanize Latino voters to move away from candidates who push draconian, enforcement-only legislation.”

The Latino Decisions poll of 402 Latino voters in Arizona and the Grove Insight poll of 500 base voters in Arizona tested overall views and political implications of the passage of SB 1070, as well as voters' views on immigration reform. Key findings include that 81% of Arizona Latino voters oppose SB 1070. Since the bill’s passage, the issue of immigration reform has shot up by 16 points, moving ahead of the economy and health care as the leading issue among Latino voters.

“The data shows very clearly that Latino voters in Arizona, from first-generation immigrants to fourth-generation families, are very much opposed to SB 1070 and national immigration reform is now their single most important issue,” said Matt A. Barreto, pollster with Latino Decisions and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. “Overwhelmingly, Latino voters fully expect the federal government to take up national immigration reform during 2010 to fix this problem in Arizona.”

The Grove Insight poll of Arizona base voters shows similar frustration over congressional inaction. While 60% of Arizona voters express support for SB 1070, a whopping 73% also support federal reform that includes both enforcement and a path to citizenship. Asking about support for SB 1070 without also asking about comprehensive immigration reform fails to reveal voters’ underlying motivations. As a result, the vast majority of polling data on SB 1070 belies what public opinion research has repeatedly shown: a majority of Americans across regions and party lines believes a federal overhaul of our broken immigration system that includes a path to legalization is the only way to end illegal immigration and move our country forward.

“Arizonans are frustrated with the current immigration situation and are particularly incensed with the federal government’s failure to solve the problem,” said Ben Patinkin, Senior Analyst at Grove Insight. “While many grasp at SB 1070 as a potential solution, the data indicates that they would much prefer comprehensive reform at the national level.”

"SB 1070 looks popular in polls because it provides a way to express frustration with federal inaction on fixing immigration,” said Martínez De Castro. “But there is a political price to pay because Latino voters know this law will be ineffective and lead to racial profiling, and they will remember which politicians supported it and which did nothing to stop it.”

“Action to deliver real solutions on immigration is essential for Democrats if they want to nurture the support they have gained from Latino voters, and crucial for Republicans if they have any interest in repairing their relationship with the fastest-growing segment of the electorate," Martínez De Castro concluded.

You can download a full analysis of both polls here.

To review the full Latino Decisions report, go to

To download the full Grove Insight report, go to


SEIU With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.

NCLR The largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.

Issues: Immigration