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Poll: Hispanics disapprove of Obama’s handling of immigrant children

PHOENIX — More Hispanics than not gave President Barack Obama low marks for the way he has handled an influx of immigrant children from Central America, a poll said.

The Pew Research poll said 46 percent of Hispanics disapprove of Obama’s approach while 34 percent improve. Overall, 56 percent of Americans disapprove while 28 percent approve.

The influx of thousands of children has bogged down the immigration system thanks to a law passed during the Bush administration that only speeds up hearings for children from Mexico and Canada. The poll showed a near-even split among Hispanics — 49 percent in favor, 47 against — for keeping current laws in place despite the delay. Most Americans went the opposite way, with 53 percent saying the process should be sped up.

Though they don’t want an altered system, about three-quarters of Hispanics said it is important for the U.S. to pass “significant” immigration reforms this year.