A new investigation by the Associated Press found that almost half of those sentenced in federal court for felonies are Latino. These numbers are bolstered by immigration cases, the AP reported, noting the discrepancy between this prison population and their percentage of the overall population, 16%. Furthermore:
Expedited court hearings along the border are a major force driving a seismic demographic shift in who is being sent to federal prison. Statistics released this week revealed that Hispanics now comprise nearly half of all people sentenced for federal felony crimes, a number swollen by immigration offenses. In comparison, Hispanics last year made up 16 percent of the total U.S. population.
Sentences for felony immigration crimes, which include illegal crossing as well as other crimes such as alien smuggling, accounted for about 87 percent of the increase in the number of Hispanics sent to prison over the past decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Sentencing Commission data.
What do you make of this analysis? Is it surprising? Does it bother you?
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[Photo By ICE]