A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows that 55 percent of Americans support Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Opposition to the law totals 71 percent among Hispanics, but only 34 percent among whites.
The new rules, set to begin Thursday, stipulate that if police stop someone for another reason and suspect the person of being in the U.S. illegally, they must ask the person about his/her immigration status.
People are divided over various ramifications of the law, with 48 percent of poll respondents believing it will help curb illegal immigration and 50 percent believing it won’t.
Among Hispanics, 35 percent say the law will be effective, compared to 50 percent for whites.
While a majority of Americans support the law, a majority – 54 percent -- also says it will lead to discrimination against Hispanics.
Among whites, 49 percent expect that discrimination, and among Hispanics, 74 percent.
"Support for the Arizona law also varies by gender and age," says Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. "Nearly six in 10 older Americans and six in 10 men favor the measure. But only a bare majority of women and Americans under 50 years old think the law is a good idea."
The law has apparently added to the national clout of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in the Republican Party.
Last weekend, she endorsed former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, a U.S. Senate candidate in Colorado. Norton is locked in a tight GOP primary battle with Ken Buck, district attorney for Weld County.
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