Majority of Asian American Republicans and Democrats Support Immigration Reform

Monday, Apr 8, 2013

Country of Immigrants.JPGToday, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings on support for immigration reform from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 9,096 Asian American voters in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation. The results indicated that the majority of Asian Americans (65%) showed strong support for comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented people.

Support for immigration reform cut across party lines, with 73% of Asian American Democrats, 53% of Asian American Republicans, and 57% of those not enrolled showing support for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

"Immigration reform for Asian Americans is truly a nonpartisan issue," said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of AALDEF's Democracy Program. "Support for immigration reform is high among Asian American Republicans, even among those who voted for representatives like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who are now positioning themselves as staunch opponents to a path to citizenship."

In Texas, half (50%) of Asian Americans who voted for Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz supported immigration reform. Among those that did not fall into this category, only 27% opposed, compared to 23% who indicated that they "don't know." In Nevada, 68% of those who voted for Republican Senator Dean Heller supported immigration reform.

68% of Asian Americans supported immigration reform in New York, the state of Senator Charles Schumer, member of the Gang of Eight that is working on a forthcoming immigration reform proposal. In New Jersey, 80% of Asian Americans who voted for Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, likewise a member of the Gang of Eight, supported immigration reform.

Support for comprehensive immigration reform was also high in key swing states, such as Nevada (87%), Pennsylvania (69%), Virginia (67%), and Georgia (56%).

Asian American support for comprehensive immigration reform was consistent across all categories surveyed, including political party, English proficiency, voting experience, nativity, gender, and all education levels and age groups. For example, 67% of English proficient compared to 61% of limited English proficient Asian American voters supported comprehensive immigration reform, and 65% of first-time voters compared to 64% of non-first-time voters supported reform.

The majority of Asian Americans supported immigration reform across almost all education levels, with the highest being those with a college or high school degree (66%) and graduate degree (65%) and a low of 50% among those with a trade school degree.

The exit poll results are part of AALDEF's nonpartisan 14-state multilingual exit poll of 9,096 Asian American voters in cities with large Asian American populations. The largest Asian ethnic groups in the exit poll were Chinese (31%), Asian Indian (13%), Bangladeshi (12%), Vietnamese (12%), Korean (11%), Filipino (9%), Pakistani (3%), Arab (2%), Indo-Caribbean (1%), and Cambodian (1%). These results reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys.

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Contact:
Ujala Sehgal
usehgal@aaldef.org
212.966.5932 x.217

About the Exit Poll:
AALDEF's multilingual exit polls reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In 2012, more than 100 community groups and organizations joined AALDEF to mobilize over 800 attorneys, law students, and volunteers to conduct the exit poll and to safeguard the voting rights of Asian Americans. A list of co-sponsoring organizations and law firms follows below.

About AALDEF:
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.

2012 AALDEF ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL - Co-Sponsoring Organizations and Law Firms

National Co-Sponsors

Alliance of South Asian American Labor
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
APIAVote
Common Cause
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Nat'l Coalition of Asian Pac. Amer. Comm. Dev.
Nat'l Korean Amer. Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans)
South Asian Americans Leading Together

Local Co-Sponsors

ACCESS - MI
APALA - Nevada
APIA Vote - Michigan
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley - PA
CAAAV - NY
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Center for Pan Asian Community Services - GA
Chhaya CDC - NY
Chinese-American Planning Council - NY
Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta
Chinese Progressive Association - MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian Am. Studies Prog - NY
Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center - IL
MinKwon Center for Community Action - NY
NAAAP - New York
NAAAP - Philadelphia
NANAY - FL                         
NAPAWF - DC
NAPAWF - New York City
OCA: Georgia
OCA: Greater Houston
OCA: Greater Philadelphia
OCA: Greater Washington DC
OCA: Northern Virginia
OCA: South Florida
Pace University, ACE House - NY
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Princeton Asian American Students Association - NJ
Q-WAVE - NY
South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of New York
U. California San Diego, Lambda Phi Epsilon
U. Maryland, College Park, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
U. Massachusetts Boston, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
Viet. Amer. Young Leaders Assoc. of New Orleans

Legal Co-Sponsors

Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Assoc. of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas - NV
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Wash., DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of South Florida
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ   
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center - DC
Boston University School of Law, APALSA - MA
Brooklyn Law School, APALSA - NY
Columbia Law School, APALSA - NY
Filipino Amer. Legal Defense & Educ. Fund, Inc. - NY
Georgetown Law, APALSA - DC
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Harvard Law School, APALSA - MA
Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Muslim American Bar Association of New York
New England School of Law, APALSA - MA
Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center - NY
Rutgers School of Law-Newark, APALSA - NJ
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
Suffolk U. Law Rappaport Ctr. Law and Public Serv.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, APALSA
U. Penn. Law, Public Interest Office and APALSA

Law Firm Co-Sponsors

Alston & Bird LLP
Ballard Spahr LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Fowler White Boggs
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Hogan Lovells
K&L Gates LLP
Kaye Scholer LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
McCarter & English LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
White & Case LLP

AALDEF Exit Poll Presentation on Comprehensive Immigration Reform >