The terms Hispanics and Latinos have been used interchangeably. It might be worth pointing out that Hispanics include people from Spain while Latinos are of Latin American origin and include people from Brazil, but not Spain.

A study published in online journal Social Science & Medicine found 68 percent of Latino men and women in the United States reported discrimination, a rate comparable to that reported by blacks, which was more than twice the 30 percent rate of findings from 2003. Those living in Texas and Arizona are more likely to experience racial discrimination. With Trump’s new policies of aggressive deportation many Latinos are keeping a low profile – avoiding being seeing in public, not showing up in court as witnesses, other than going to work and staying mostly behind locked doors. Even though illegal immigrants with a criminal record are being targeted by ICE, they are not hesitating to arrest suspicious looking illegals including a Dreamer who was arrested for speaking out. While supporters of anti-immigrant policies may target undocumented immigrants, the findings show that legal immigrants feel the hostile environment as well, it said.

According to

  1. Hispanics are the nation’s largest minority group and among its fastest growing populations. According to the US Census Bureau (2013), the Hispanic population in 2012 was 53 million, making up 17% of the US population.
  2. According to a Pew research poll, Latino people are the 2nd most discriminated against ethnic group after African-Americans.
  3. In 2011, less than 30% of Hispanic students graduated from high school, and less than 4% earned advanced college degrees.
  4. More than 20% of Hispanic females under the age of 18 live below the poverty level.
  5. In a study conducted by Rutgers University, 22% of Hispanic/Latino workers reported experiencing workplace discrimination, compared to only 6% of whites.
  6. Working in discriminatory conditions often leads to depression, lack of self-confidence, bitterness, and withdrawal from work.
  7. Hispanic females earn roughly 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic male, which accounts for a loss of almost $24,000 in a year’s time.
  8. In 2011, Hispanics had the highest dropout rate (17%) for students ages 16 through 24.
  9. More than 6 million Latino children were in poverty in 2010, 2/3 of whom come from immigrant parents.
  10. Roughly 30% of Hispanics in the US lack health coverage.
  11. In 2010, the state of Arizona passed a law authorizing local police to check the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being in the United States illegally.

During the Presidential campaign, Donald Trump openly talked about and insulted Mexicans and Muslims, constantly.  Now his prejudices and those of the movement that brought him to power seem to be government policy. Last month, his Administration issued a directive that raised the specter of mass deportations across the Spanish-speaking United States for the first time since the Great Depression, when approximately a million people were forcibly repatriated to Mexico. Trump has granted new powers to immigration officials, sped up deportation hearings, and expanded the criteria for expedited removal. It’s a policy built on the idea that working people from Latin America are a threat to “national security” and somehow responsible for economic and social decline.

Thousands of people are being deported from the United States this year, at a much rate than the Obama administration, AP photo

In Sanctuary cities, however, undocumented immigrants have less fear of deportation and they will be more willing to report crimes, use health services or social welfare benefits and enroll their children in school. The Trump administration wants to change that. He signed an executive order stating that any US sanctuary jurisdictions that willfully violated federal law “in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States will not receive federal funds, except as mandated by law”. Such jurisdictions, it alleged per Jeff Sessions, “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic”. There has been plenty of resistance and the White House is likely to face several legal hurdles to enforce the order, the first being that it would need Congress to refuse to hand over federal grants.