The sharp growth of both illegal immigration and the enforcement of immigration laws have led to a dramatic rise in the proportion of Latinos sentenced for federal offenses. In 2007, Latinos accounted for 40% of all federally sentenced offenders, up from 24% in 1991 and currently three times their share of the U.S. population (13%). While in 1991 just 7% of federal convictions were for immigration offenses, today they represent nearly a quarter (24%). Hispanics account for 80% of all immigration-related federal sentences in 2007. Of the total growth in federally sentenced offenders from 1991 to 2007, Hispanics have accounted for more than half (54%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.