Washington (CNN) – A quarter of Hispanics support Arizona's controversial immigration law, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates a generation gap among Hispanics over the new measure.
Twenty-four percent of Hispanics questioned in the poll favor the new law, with 71 percent opposed. Support for the measure jumps to 61 percent among white respondents, with opposition dropping to 34 percent among whites.
The survey also suggests divisions among older and younger Hispanics.
"The biggest difference in the Hispanic community on this issue is the generation gap," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Forty-five percent of Hispanics who are 50 or older support Arizona's law. Among Hispanics who are younger than 50, support for the new measure drops to 17 percent. Three-quarters of younger Hispanics oppose the law."
The survey also points to a gender gap among Hispanics on the issue.
"But the gender gap is nowhere near as big as the generation gap. Nineteen percent of Hispanic women support Arizona's law, compared to 28 percent of Hispanic men," adds Holland.
The survey's Tuesday release comes two days before the scheduled implementation of a tough and controversial immigration law in Arizona. The measure, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April, requires police to question people about their status if they have been detained for another reason and if there is reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.
Critics have said the law will promote racial profiling. Supporters of the bill say its aim is only to enforce federal law.
Will the law work?
According to the poll, only 35 percent of Hispanics say the measure will be effective, 15 points lower than how whites responded. The survey also indicates that 74 percent of Hispanics say the law will lead to discrimination, 25 points higher than the 49 percent of whites who say the law will increase discrimination against Hispanics.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted July 16-21, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone, including a special sample of 308 black and 303 Hispanic respondents. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report