The percentage of anti-Latino hate crimes was at a ten-year high in 2010, according to a report released on Monday by the FBI.
The FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics, 2010 report revealed that 66.6% of victims of ethnically-motivated hate crimes in 2010 were “targeted because of an anti-Hispanic bias.” Despite ethnically-motivated hate crimes having fallen in general, they have risen for Latinos: there were 747 victims of “anti-Hispanic” ethnically-motivated incidents in 2010, compared to 595 in 2003.
The FBI report did not draw conclusions as to the reasons behind the 11 percentage-point spike, but the significant growth of the Latino population in almost every state may explain the surge. The report also includes data reflecting the number of crimes between Latino ethnic groups, another factor that boosted the number of crimes.
Preliminary findings by another study from the National Institute of Justice suggest a disproportionate increase in crimes against Latinos between 2004 and 2008, evidence that number of hate crimes against Latinos may be on the rise. However, some experts still believe these crimes are underreported.
“One thing to understand is that Latinos, and in particular undocumented immigrants, are among the least likely to report hate crimes because they fear deportation,” said Mark Potok, spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center.