6/24/08

Nativist Tide Boosts Anti-Latino Hate Groups

The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups more closely than any other organization, reports that 888 hate groups are now active around the nation, 80 of them operating in California.

That count leaves out about 300 other groups which the center says frequently harass and intimidate immigrants.

The recent rise in number of hate groups also parallels a rise in hate crimes against Latinos, which the FBI reported up by 35 percent between 2003 and 2006. FBI experts say those crimes usually are intended to target illegal immigrants, but often hit legal residents, many of whom are native U.S. citizens.

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