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Report: Increasing Hate Crimes Targeting Hispanics

The most recent figures from the California Attorney General's shows hate crimes have been increasing in San Diego county and the targets have been increasingly hispanic. The story from KPBS reporter

Report: Increasing Hate Crimes Targeting Hispanics

The most recent figures from the California Attorney General's shows hate crimes have been increasing in San Diego county and the targets have been increasingly hispanic. The story from KPBS reporter Alan Ray.

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From 2005 to 2006, hate crimes increased by 23 percent in San Diego county, with hate crimes against Hispanics up16 percent. More hate crimes were reported against Hispanics in 2006 than in any of the previous five years.

Morris Casuto, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego County, suspects that this year's figures will actually be worse. He says the language in the public debate over illegal immigration has been toxic, using words like "vermin" to describe immigrants.

Casuto: The toxicity of the debate has not in any way been tempered. And, in fact, the individuals about whom I'm speaking take it almost as a sign of pride that they will call a group of people by names that make them almost inhuman.

The increase in hate crimes parallels the renewal and increasing acrimony... of the debate over illegal immigration. In the first five years of the decade, hate crimes in San Diego County had actually dropped.

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