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Objective. In this article, we develop and test a model of competing theoretical explanations of Latino attitudes toward immigration; specifically examining their policy preferences on legal immigration, illegal immigration, and a proposed policy for dealing with illegal immigrants. We also consider whether Latino attitudes toward legal and illegal immigration are related and comprise a single coherent structure.

Method. Using data from a 2004 national survey of Latinos, we perform regression, logit, and ordered logit analyses to examine the determinants of Latino attitudes toward immigration.

Results. We highlight three important findings. First, our results demonstrate “within-group” differences in immigration attitudes among Latinos, based on both national origin and generational status; we find that Mexicans are more pro-immigration than Latinos from other countries and that foreign-born Latinos have much more positive attitudes about immigration than second-generation and third-generation Latinos. Second, we find that Latino support for various aspects of immigration is primarily a function of ethnic and linguistic identity and attachment to American culture, with self-interest, contextual variables, and political and demographic attributes playing a smaller, more specialized role. Finally, we demonstrate that Latino attitudes toward legal and illegal immigration are highly interrelated.

Conclusion. There is a coherent structure underlying Latino attitudes toward legal immigration, illegal immigration, and a policy option for dealing with illegal immigrants. Our tests of competing theoretical approaches reveal the importance of national origin and ethnic attachment and acculturation in explaining differences among Latinos on their attitudes toward immigration.