While polling New Yorkers on their attitudes toward immigration, researchers at Baruch College found something that shocked them: 48 percent of New Yorkers fear being violently attacked because of their race or ethnicity.

Pollsters said they weren’t expecting such a response.

“It totally surprised me,” said Mickey Blum, director of Baruch survey research, who helped conduct the polling.

Researchers asked 1,207 New Yorkers of all different races, income levels and backgrounds in April and May.

Hispanic New Yorkers are the most fearful of being attacked, according to the survey, with 62 percent saying they were concerned about becoming a hate crime victim, including 43 percent who said they felt “very concerned.”

Also, 57 percent of African-Americans and many immigrants — 65 percent of people who reported speaking Spanish at home — reported concern.

Baruch held a conference yesterday to discuss the findings, where Joselo Lucero, originally from Ecuador, spoke. Lucero’s brother, Marcelo, was stabbed to death in 2008 in Long Island by a white teenager convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime.

Attitudes have gotten better, but hate crimes still occur, said Lucero. He hopes for more understanding in the future.

“You are an immigrant,” he said. “You are a human being. You have feelings.”

The Bronx reported the highest level of concern, with 53 percent of residents there reporting a fear of becoming a hate crime victim.

Blum said she hopes to do more research on the findings.


Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.