Poll: Florida needs to improve race relations efforts

A new poll shows Floridians are divided about undocumented immigrants but are growing increasingly critical of the state’s efforts towards improving race relations.

“In a state with growing minority and immigrant populations, Floridians are growing more critical of their State government’s efforts to improve race relations. Floridians support protecting religious and educational facilities from attacks by hate groups and of requiring employers to check the immigrant status of new hires,” University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus, director of the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State survey, said in a release with the poll results this morning.

“Florida’s growth over the past four decades, fueled by people moving into the state from other states and countries, has transformed it into the nation’s third largest state. New arrivals, along with generational replacement, are constantly changing the state’s population makeup.

In this population flux, the 2017 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey shows Floridians growing more critical of the State’s efforts to improve race relations. At the same time, Floridians are highly supportive of protecting religious and educational facilities from attacks by hate groups and of requiring employers to check the immigrant status of new hires. Opinions are more mixed, but negative, toward expanding rights and assistance to undocumented immigrants and creating safe spaces on college campuses for undocumented immigrant students.” — Susan MacManus