Only 4 in 10 Americans Satisfied With Treatment of Immigrants

by Jeffrey M. Jones

Just 25% of Hispanics satisfied

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- This year's Gallup Minority Rights and Relations poll finds more Americans saying they are dissatisfied than satisfied with the way immigrants are treated in society. Public satisfaction with immigrants' treatment is the lowest Gallup has found for any minority group it has asked about since this annual poll was first conducted in 2001. Hispanics and blacks are especially likely to express displeasure with the treatment of immigrants in the United States. In contrast, Americans are most satisfied with they way Asians and women are treated.

As part of its annual Minority Rights and Relations poll, Gallup asks Americans -- including large samples of blacks and Hispanics -- if they are satisfied with "the way various groups in society are treated." The groups include Asians, Arabs, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, and women. This year's poll was conducted June 4-24.

According to the poll, just 43% of Americans are "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the way immigrants are treated, while 50% are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied. Satisfaction with the treatment of immigrants has dipped for the second consecutive year, and for the first time Americans are more dissatisfied than satisfied with the treatment of immigrants.

Not only has the public's satisfaction with the treatment of immigrants reached a new low, but it is also the lowest satisfaction rating Gallup has found for any group tested in the six years Gallup has asked the question since 2001. (NOTE: Arabs were added to the list in 2006, so it is possible they would have received a satisfaction rating below 43% in 2002-2005.)

Hispanics are especially likely to express dissatisfaction with the treatment of immigrants, not surprising since most of the recent immigrants to the United States have come from Latin American countries. Just 25% of Hispanics are currently satisfied with the treatment of immigrants, while 71% are dissatisfied. Hispanics have never been especially positive about immigrants' treatment, but in recent years as illegal immigration has become a major issue, their ratings have gotten worse. As recently as 2003, 42% of Hispanics said they were satisfied with society's treatment of immigrants.

Blacks are also largely dissatisfied, with only 32% saying they are satisfied with the treatment of immigrants. Whites stand in contrast to blacks and Hispanics, with slightly more saying they are satisfied (48%) than dissatisfied (44%) with how immigrants are treated in the United States.

There is essentially no difference in the perceived treatment of immigrants according to one's own immigrant status. Among those who either immigrated to the United States themselves or whose parents were the first to settle in this country, 38% are satisfied with the way immigrants are treated. Among those with a longer family history in the United States -- both themselves and their parents were born here -- 43% are satisfied.

It is unclear if the heightened dissatisfaction stems from views that immigrants are treated too poorly or perhaps too well (for example, if immigrants receive public benefits but do not pay taxes). Since 2005, Republicans, independents, and Democrats have all shown declining satisfaction with the way immigrants are treated. 

Immigrants in Comparison

Immigrants now rank in last place among the six groups tested in terms of perceived treatment. Americans are most satisfied with the way society treats Asians and women, with roughly 70% saying they are satisfied. Six in 10 Americans are satisfied with the treatment of blacks, and a majority says they are satisfied with the way Hispanics and Arabs are treated.

Opinions about how these groups are treated are generally stable compared with last year's figures. Arabs are the only group whose ratings have shown significant improvement (from 45% satisfied to 52%) in the past year. While the decline in satisfaction with the way immigrants are treated from 2006 (47%) to 2007 (43%) is not statistically significant, the 11-point drop from 2005 (54%) to 2007 is.

Last year, Arabs and immigrants were essentially tied as the groups receiving the lowest satisfaction ratings, but the combination of improved satisfaction with the treatment of Arabs this year along with the decline in satisfaction with the treatment of immigrants has left immigrants at the bottom of the list by a significant margin.

Just as is the case for ratings of immigrants, whites are significantly more optimistic about the way each of the other groups are treated than either blacks or Hispanics. Whites differ most from blacks in perceptions about how blacks are treated -- 71% of whites are satisfied, compared with just 30% of blacks. Whites and Hispanics diverge most in opinions about the treatment of Hispanics (63% of whites are satisfied, compared with 37% of Hispanics), though there are similar white-Hispanic gaps in their ratings of the treatment of blacks and Hispanics.

Satisfaction with Way Minority Groups are Treated
by Race and Ethnicity

White,
% satisfied

Black,
% satisfied

Hispanic,
% satisfied

Difference,
White-
black

Difference,
White-
Hispanic

Asians

77

59

58

18

19

Women

73

45

60

28

13

Blacks

71

30

46

41

25

Hispanics

63

39

37

24

26

Arabs

57

36

38

21

19

Immigrants

48

32

25

16

23

Men have always been more likely than women to say they are satisfied with the way society treats women. The 9 percentage-point gap between men (75%) and women (66%) found in this year's poll is typical of what Gallup has found since 2001.

Survey Methods

Survey results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 2,388 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 4-24, 2007. The sample includes oversamples of 802 blacks and 502 Hispanics that are weighted to their proper proportion in the U.S. population. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±5 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 868 non-Hispanic whites, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±7 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 802 non-Hispanic blacks, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 502 Hispanics, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

5. Next we'd like to know how you feel about the way various groups in society are treated. For each of the following groups please say whether you are very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way they are treated. How about… [RANDOM ORDER]?

Full Satisfaction Trends

A. Immigrants

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

12

31

29

21

7

43

50

2006 Jun 8-25

14

33

26

21

5

47

47

2005 Jun 6-25

13

41

26

16

4

54

42

2003 Jun 12-18

15

43

25

13

4

58

38

2002 Jun 3-9

16

39

25

14

6

55

39

2001 Jun 11-17

14

40

27

14

5

54

41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

12

36

27

17

8

48

44

2006 Jun 8-25

16

36

27

16

6

52

43

2005 Jun 6-25

14

46

25

12

3

60

37

2003 Jun 12-15

15

48

24

9

4

63

33

2002 Jun 3-6

17

41

25

10

7

58

35

2001 Jun 11-17

15

43

28

9

5

58

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

7

25

36

26

6

32

62

2006 Jun 8-25

9

29

32

26

4

38

58

2005 Jun 6-25

8

33

31

20

8

41

51

2003 Jun 12-18

14

30

25

26

5

44

51

2002 Jun 3-9

8

33

27

24

8

41

51

2001 Jun 11-17

6

29

32

25

8

35

57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

8

17

25

46

3

25

71

2006 Jun 8-25

11

15

23

48

2

26

71

2005 Jun 6-25

10

19

29

39

3

29

68

2003 Jun 12-18

11

31

27

29

2

42

56

2002 Jun 3-9

12

32

19

33

4

44

52

2001 Jun 11-17

10

26

27

33

4

36

60

B. Women

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

26

43

17

11

3

69

28

2006 Jun 8-25

25

42

20

11

1

67

31

2005 Jun 6-25

24

46

20

9

1

70

29

2003 Jun 12-18

28

44

17

10

1

72

27

2002 Jun 3-9

25

47

17

9

2

72

26

2001 Jun 11-17

24

46

18

11

1

70

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

27

46

16

8

3

73

24

2006 Jun 8-25

28

46

18

7

1

74

25

2005 Jun 6-25

25

50

19

6

*

75

25

2003 Jun 12-15

31

45

15

8

1

76

23

2002 Jun 3-6

26

50

17

6

1

76

23

2001 Jun 11-17

24

49

17

9

1

73

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

15

30

28

25

2

45

53

2006 Jun 8-25

12

39

29

20

1

51

49

2005 Jun 6-25

17

36

28

17

2

53

45

2003 Jun 12-18

17

35

24

21

3

52

45

2002 Jun 3-9

19

40

17

22

2

59

39

2001 Jun 11-17

14

33

31

20

2

47

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

23

37

20

19

2

60

39

2006 Jun 8-25

33

27

19

19

2

60

38

2005 Jun 6-25

23

36

20

17

4

59

37

2003 Jun 12-18

26

42

17

14

1

68

31

2002 Jun 3-9

26

41

17

12

4

67

29

2001 Jun 11-17

27

33

18

20

2

60

38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

33

42

13

9

4

75

22

2006 Jun 8-25

35

39

19

7

1

74

26

2005 Jun 6-25

28

46

17

7

2

74

24

2003 Jun 12-18

36

40

17

6

1

76

23

2002 Jun 3-9

34

43

15

6

2

77

21

2001 Jun 11-17

35

45

13

6

1

80

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

21

45

20

13

2

66

33

2006 Jun 8-25

17

45

22

15

1

62

37

2005 Jun 6-25

19

47

23

10

1

66

33

2003 Jun 12-18

21

48

16

14

1

69

30

2002 Jun 3-9

18

51

19

11

1

69

30

2001 Jun 11-17

13

48

22

15

2

61

37

C. Blacks

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

21

42

20

13

4

63

33

2006 Jun 8-25

17

44

24

12

3

61

36

2005 Jun 6-25

16

43

23

14

4

59

37

2003 Jun 12-18

20

44

22

12

2

64

34

2002 Jun 3-9

19

45

22

11

3

64

33

2001 Jun 11-17

20

41

24

13

2

61

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

22

49

15

9

4

71

24

2006 Jun 8-25

17

49

24

7

3

66

31

2005 Jun 6-25

18

48

21

10

3

66

31

2003 Jun 12-15

22

46

22

8

2

68

30

2002 Jun 3-6

19

49

21

8

3

68

29

2001 Jun 11-17

20

44

25

9

2

64

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

8

22

30

38

2

30

68

2006 Jun 8-25

7

30

29

33

1

37

62

2005 Jun 6-25

8

33

28

30

1

41

58

2003 Jun 12-18

10

30

20

39

1

40

59

2002 Jun 3-9

12

31

26

29

2

43

55

2001 Jun 11-17

8

31

28

32

1

39

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

17

29

31

16

6

46

47

2006 Jun 8-25

23

23

27

20

7

46

47

2005 Jun 6-25

15

30

27

19

9

45

46

2003 Jun 12-18

11

47

22

16

4

58

38

2002 Jun 3-9

19

38

24

14

5

57

38

2001 Jun 11-17

15

35

26

18

6

50

44

D. Hispanics  

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

16

40

20

17

7

56

37

2006 Jun 8-25

18

39

25

14

5

57

39

2005 Jun 6-25

17

41

27

10

5

58

37

2003 Jun 12-18

18

47

22

10

3

65

32

2002 Jun 3-9

17

47

22

9

5

64

31

2001 Jun 11-17

16

44

23

12

5

60

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

17

46

15

14

8

63

29

2006 Jun 8-25

19

43

23

10

5

62

33

2005 Jun 6-25

18

42

28

7

5

60

35

2003 Jun 12-15

19

50

21

6

4

69

27

2002 Jun 3-6

17

51

21

6

5

68

27

2001 Jun 11-17

17

47

23

9

4

64

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

9

30

36

20

6

39

56

2006 Jun 8-25

11

34

33

17

5

45

50

2005 Jun 6-25

14

36

31

12

7

50

43

2003 Jun 12-18

15

38

23

21

3

53

44

2002 Jun 3-9

14

35

27

15

9

49

42

2001 Jun 11-17

7

34

31

20

8

41

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

12

25

29

32

3

37

61

2006 Jun 8-25

18

22

28

31

1

40

59

2005 Jun 6-25

15

30

27

27

1

45

54

2003 Jun 12-18

11

40

24

23

2

51

47

2002 Jun 3-9

16

37

24

21

2

53

45

2001 Jun 11-17

15

30

25

29

1

45

54

E. Asians

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

26

46

11

6

10

72

17

2006 Jun 8-25

27

49

12

5

7

76

17

2005 Jun 6-25

27

45

14

5

9

72

19

2003 Jun 12-18

25

48

16

5

6

73

21

2002 Jun 3-9

22

49

15

5

9

71

20

2001 Jun 11-17

21

48

18

5

8

69

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

29

48

9

4

9

77

13

2006 Jun 8-25

29

53

9

4

6

82

13

2005 Jun 6-25

30

47

12

4

7

77

16

2003 Jun 12-15

26

49

15

4

6

75

19

2002 Jun 3-6

23

51

15

3

8

74

18

2001 Jun 11-17

21

50

18

4

7

71

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

16

43

20

10

11

59

30

2006 Jun 8-25

19

44

21

8

8

63

29

2005 Jun 6-25

17

41

21

8

13

58

29

2003 Jun 12-18

20

40

24

9

7

60

33

2002 Jun 3-9

16

44

20

10

10

60

30

2001 Jun 11-17

13

40

26

12

9

53

38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

17

41

16

9

16

58

25

2006 Jun 8-25

30

28

18

11

14

58

29

2005 Jun 6-25

23

35

19

10

13

58

29

2003 Jun 12-18

20

51

15

8

6

71

23

2002 Jun 3-9

19

42

13

11

15

61

24

2001 Jun 11-17

18

33

22

13

14

51

35

F. Arabs

Very satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Very dissatisfied

No
opinion

Total satisfied

Total dissatisfied

Total

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

17

35

21

13

14

52

34

2006 Jun 8-25

15

30

28

16

11

45

44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Hispanic Whites

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

18

39

20

11

13

57

31

2006 Jun 8-25

14

33

31

15

7

47

46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacks

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

8

28

26

23

15

36

49

2006 Jun 8-25

9

32

27

16

15

41

43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanics

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

2007 Jun 4-24

12

26

28

15

19

38

43

2006 Jun 8-25

17

20

22

20

22

37

42

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