For many non-Latino Americans, the words “Latino” and “illegal immigrant” are one and the same. A new poll finds over 30 percent of non-Hispanics believe a majority (over half) of Hispanics are undocumented. However, the actual figure of undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. is around 18 percent, and only 37 percent of U.S. Hispanics are actually immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
These are some of the findings of a new poll released by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions on how media portrayals impact public opinion of Latinos and immigrants.
“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,” explains political scientist Matt Barreto, principal at Latino Decisions.