With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress.
Immigrants are gaining jobs at a time when native-born workers continue to sustain losses. Foreign-born workers job gains may be the result of greater flexibility with regard to wages and hours of work or greater mobility. But despite rising employment, immigrants have experienced a sharp decline in earnings as well as a still substantial net loss in jobs.
About four-in-five of the nation's estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants are of Hispanic origin; a new national survey finds that Latinos are divided over what to do with these immigrants.
In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party's standing among Latinos appears as strong as ever. However, Hispanic voters appear to be less motivated than others to go to the polls.
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans' views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the U.S. was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005. This decline contributed to an overall 8% reduction in the unauthorized immigrant population, which fell to 11.1 million in 2009 from 12 million in 2007. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades.
Unauthorized immigrants comprise about 4% of the adult population, but their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the overall child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country.
While they still trail their non-Latino counterparts, young Latinos make extensive use of mobile technology. But use of cell phones and text messages differs notably among young Hispanics by nativity.
While rates of internet and cell phone use among native-born Hispanics are relatively high, technology use for the full population of Hispanics continues to lag behind the use rates of the non-Hispanic population.
While facing a controversial health care bill, a high jobless rate and the largest environmental disaster in the nation's history, the president's approval rating (48%) hasn't moved this year. A majority now opposes increased offshore drilling, but a large partisan split remains. Americans back Arizona's tough immigration law, but also support a "path to citizenship."