A civil rights group has issued a report blaming an increase in reported hate crimes against Hispanics on the "contentious debate over immigration."
Immigration Debate Tied to Rise in Hate Crimes
By Spencer S. Hsu Washington Post Wednesday, June 17, 2009
U.S. civil rights leaders said yesterday that an increase in hate crimes committed in recent years against Hispanics and people perceived to be immigrants "correlates closely" to the nation's increasingly contentious debate over immigration.
Hate crimes targeting Hispanic Americans rose 40 percent from 2003 to 2007, the most recent year for which FBI statistics are available, from 426 to 595 incidents, marking the fourth consecutive year of increases.
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund issued a report that faulted anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media and mobilization of extremist groups on the Internet. The conference said that some groups advocating for tighter immigration laws have invoked "the dehumanizing, racist stereotypes and bigotry of hate groups." [More]
As someone who makes his living by the "contentious debate over immigration," I'm annoyed by this. In fact, as Patrick Cleburne pointed out, "such crimes have actually declined as a percentage of the Hispanic population from 1995." But there's a hugely increased Hispanic population, which includes between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants. Instead of studying an imaginary increase in hate crimes caused by contentious debating, (which is protected by the First Amendment) why not study the increase in crimes, including hate crimes, caused by immigration?