An exclusive Fox News Latino national poll of likely Latino voters reaffirms a very high level of patriotism and support for the military.
The poll also shows that Latinos think that they are viewed more positively now by others, accepted more than they were ten years ago, and have an optimistic outlook about the future.
“Some of these people are coming from Democracies and some are not,” says Vincent Parrillo, Professor of Sociology at William Patterson University. “Latinos came here already with the mindset that this was a better country than their homeland. They were already motivated.”
Conducted under the direction of Latin Insights, the Fox News Latino poll finds that 76% of Latinos believe the United States of America is the best country in the world.
“They came here with this belief and for them coming to this country has re-enforced their original views,” says Parillo.
Ignacio Alfonso Jr. a co-owner of the Cuban restaurant "El Artesano" in Union City, NJ a restaurant his family opened after his parents emigrated from Cuba believes most Americans take the opportunities America provides for granted.
“Americans take freedom for granted. This is the land of opportunity,” says Alfonso. “My parents came with no education and worked hard. My father had a business in Cuba and they took it away from him, here they haven’t.”
As for the military, nearly 7 in 10 Latinos have a favorable opinion of Americas fighting forces. Only 20% of Latinos had an unfavorable opinion.
“The U.S. military have achieved very striking accomplishments, especially with the recent strikes and SEAL Team 6 with their recent successes,” says Parillo. “Also our military is under civilian control; this is often not the case in many Latin American countries. The military in the United States has a very different image than other countries militaries do.”
Latinos also expressed in the poll that they are optimistic about the future with nearly two-thirds of those surveyed saying they believe the next generation of Latinos will be better off than those today
“First of all they had the courage to act on the dream. So you already have a selective process going on and what’s propelling that action is hope,” says Parillo.
Alfonso adds that Latinos in the United States are starting to benefit from their hard work.
“You see more Latinos growing and branching out. They’re growing in size and economically,” says Alfonso. “They can afford better homes and education for their children.”
The poll also shows that 62% of Latinos feel they are more accepted now than they were 10 years ago.
“What you have today is a pervasiveness of the Latino presence in small towns and big cities to provide various different services. There’s a greater interaction going on [compared to what Irish or other immigrants in past],” said Parillo. “This interaction has had a humanizing effect.”