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Poll: Latinos torn between dreams, financial reality

MIAMI - Hispanic people worry more than most Americans about losing jobs and paying bills, according to an Associated Press-Univision poll. They place a high importance on education and expect their children to go to college.

The poll of more than 1,500 Latinos, also sponsored by The Nielsen Co. and Stanford University, showed that they are torn between hopes for tomorrow and daily doses of financial stress.

"The situation is bad now, but I have faith that this is going to change," says Yadilka Aramboles, 32, a Miamian from the Dominican Republic.

She eyes her three young children playing on the sidewalk and sees college in their future, though her husband's modest income as an accountant barely covers the family's most basic expenses. "For me and my children, I aspire to something more," she says.

The recession that erased millions of jobs has taken an especially heavy toll on America's 47 million Latinos, whose average income is lower than that for many other groups.

And the Hispanic community has been jolted by debate over the country's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, a debate that has increased in intensity following Arizona's enactment of a law that requires police to question a person's immigration status.

About three-quarters of the nation's illegal immigrants are Hispanic, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

In the survey, 54 percent say it is important that they change to assimilate into society, yet 66 percent say Latinos should maintain their distinct culture.

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