WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Half of U.S. Latinos say their situation in the United States is worse now than a year ago, a nationwide survey indicated Thursday.
Pessimism is especially prevalent among immigrants, with 63 percent saying the Latino situation had worsened in the past year, up from 42 percent in 2007, the survey by the Pew Hispanic Center found.
Immigrants account for 54 percent of all Hispanic U.S. adults.
The assessments come at a time when the U.S. Hispanic community -- numbering about 46 million, or 15.4 percent of the total U.S. civilian population -- has been hit hard by rising unemployment and stepped-up immigration enforcement, Pew said.
Nearly one in 10 Hispanic adults report police or other authorities have stopped them and asked them about their immigration status in the past year, the survey found.
One in seven say they have had trouble finding or keeping a job -- and one in 10 report the same about finding or keeping housing -- because they are Latino, the survey found.
Eighty-one percent say immigration enforcement should be left mainly to U.S. authorities rather than local police, the survey found.
Forty percent say they worry a lot about deportation and 57 percent say they worry somewhat about it, up 4 percent from 2007's 53 percent.
The bilingual telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,015 Hispanics age 18 and older was conducted June 9-July 13. Its margin of error is 2.8 percentage points.