Hispanic Concentrations and Racial Profiling

This past year there has been a lot of news about racial profiling charges filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.  Most of those charges were made public after Sheriff Joe Arpaio had his Cold Case Posse launch an investigation into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

A recent Pew Research report listed the top 10 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest concentration of Hispanic population based on 2010 American Community Survey figures.  To no real surprise, Los Angeles/Long Beach area was first on the list with 5.7 million Hispanics out of a total population of 12.8 million.  Next on the list was New York City/Northeastern New Jersey with 4.2 million Hispanics out of a total population of 17.8 million.

Except for New York and Chicago (1.9 million out of total of 9.2 million), the other eight metropolitan areas were in California, Texas, Arizona or Florida.  Florida’s Hispanic population is largely made up of Cuban and New York’s is largely made up of Puerto Ricans.  California, Texas and Arizona’s Hispanic population is largely Mexican and Central American.

The top ten metropolitan areas account for 45% of the nation’s total Hispanic population.

The Phoenix metropolitan area was listed eighth with 1.1 million Hispanics out of a total population of 3.8 million.  The report does not indicate how many of these are legal U.S. citizens or illegal aliens.  The government reports indicate that the number of illegals in Arizona is down from 560,000 to only 200,000.  Other reports I’ve heard from Arizona sources tell me the numbers are much higher.  One of my contacts tells me that there are over 500,000 illegals in just Maricopa County alone (Maricopa County encompasses the entire Phoenix metropolitan area).

Just using the official government figures, 29% of the metropolitan Phoenix population is Hispanic.  If you add the illegals, that percentage surpasses the 33% mark or one of every 3 people in the area is Hispanic.  Now add to this the fact that Phoenix/Maricopa County is one of the nation’s major illegal alien and drug trafficking areas and that over 90% of this illegal activity is carried out by Hispanics.

So exactly how is law enforcement supposed to stop the illegal trafficking of aliens and drugs without concentrating their efforts on Hispanics?  If they do concentrate their efforts on Hispanics, they are accused of racial profiling.  If they don’t concentrate on Hispanics, they are failing to do their job in stopping crime.  They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

In the case of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he prefers to error on the side of the law and do his job to stop crime and protect the citizens of the county, even if it means targeting the ethnic group responsible for so much of the crime.