WASHINGTON (CNN) – Latinos were once unfamiliar to more than half of all Americans, but a new national poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed now say they have a lot or some contact with Latinos in places where they live, work or shop.
Sixty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning say they have some or a lot of contact with Latinos. That's up 15 points from 1990.
"The jump in contact is a result of the growing number of Latinos and their growing presence in all 50 states," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But familiarity is not the same as knowledge."
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that roughly six in 10 Latinos were born in the U.S.
"But nearly half of people we questioned said they assume that Latinos who they have never met are immigrants, and one in five believe they are illegal immigrants," adds Holland.
Well, son...I think they wear funny hats and eat tacos. But I still ain't never see one.