L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Sharp increase in Latino offenders sentenced for immigration crimes [UPDATED]

February 18, 2009 | 10:54 am

Driven by a sharp growth in illegal immigration and tougher enforcement, Latinos accounted for 40% of all sentenced federal offenders in 2007, according to a new study.

Among those sentenced for immigration offenses in 2007, 80% were Latino, according to the study by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Immigration offenses represented nearly one-quarter of all federal convictions during the same period, up from just 7% in 1991, the study found.

Fully 75% of Latino offenders sentenced for immigration crimes in 2007 were convicted of entering the U.S. unlawfully or residing in the country without authorization.

“There was a very sharp rise of immigration offenses as a share of all offenses,” said Paul Taylor Lopez, director of the Pew Hispanic Center.

Between 1991 and 2007, enforcement of federal immigration laws became a growing priority in response to the rise in illegal immigration.

In 1991, three times as many Latinos were sentenced in federal courts for drug crimes, 60%, as for immigration crimes, 20%, according to the report.

By 2007, that pattern had reversed. Among Latino offenders sentenced in federal courts, 48% were sentenced for immigration offenses and 37% for a drug offense.

-- Anna Gorman

Updated at 11:50 a.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Paul Taylor Lopez was director of the Pew Hispanic Center. Paul Taylor is vice president of the Pew Hispanic Center.

Comments 

Advertisement










Video