According to the Black Youth Project’s latest memo, Youth of color support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform at higher rates than white youth, who are more supportive of punitive measures and increased enforcement of existing law.


Because major congressional proposals on immigration reform, including the DREAM Act and the Kids Act, focus on young people, our analysis examined public opinion on immigration among youth between the ages of 18 and 29.


In contrast to their white peers, Black youth expressed greater support for immigration proposals focused on a creating a path to citizenship and extending citizenship to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who earn a four-year college degree or serve in the U.S. military.


Black youth also support extending government services, including welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps, to undocumented immigrants before becoming citizens at much higher rates than white youth.


However, the report also indicates that attitudes toward immigrants may be a barrier to Black-Brown coalitions. Nearly sixty percent of both Black and white youth believe that immigrants take away jobs, health care, and housing from people born in the U.S. In addition, more than sixty percent of Black youth report that immigrants are treated better than most Black people born in this country, which represents an increase from 2009.


This latest report is the 12th in a series of memos entitled “Black and Latino Youth: The Future of American Politics” released by the Black Youth Project.