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Race and Ethnicity - Hispanic Americans

hispanics percent prison drug

Hispanic Americans come from many national origins that are culturally and economically diverse. Most Hispanics in the United States come from Mexico. Overall, Hispanics are poorer and less educated than the U.S. population. The language barrier between Hispanics and police contribute to rougher treatment during arrests. Illegal immigration has caused much fear in the U.S. population. In 1990 just over 10 percent of Hispanic men were either in prison or on parole or probation. Just over 3.7 percent of Hispanic men between ages of twenty and twenty-nine were in prison in 2003 compared to 1.6 percent of whites.

As with blacks, drug offenses were a major element of prison terms. Youth gangs have been an ongoing and violent problem involving drugs and guns. Organized crime has established strong ties with Hispanics involving drug trafficking of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from Latin America. In the late 1990s it was estimated that some three thousand Colombian drug trafficking groups were operating in the United States.

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