Who Knows An Illegal Immigrant?

February 08, 2013, 4:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 2/2/2013) More than one in four Americans say they know someone personally who is an illegal immigrant. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, that percentage is pretty much the same across all political, income and age groups, although those 65 and older are somewhat less likely than those in younger age groups to say they know someone here illegally.

Immigrants are more visible in certain parts of the country: 41% in the West and 31% in the Northeast know someone who is illegal. Only about one in five in the Midwest and South do. Men are also more likely than women to say they know an illegal immigrant.

45% of Hispanics know someone who is illegal.

Most Americans are far removed from the immigrant experience. Six in ten describe themselves as third generation or more, meaning that the immigrant experience goes back to their great-grandparents or even earlier. Those in the Northeast and West are somewhat closer to the immigrant experience, and just 19% of Hispanics say their family’s experience in the United States stretches back four generations or more.