A new immigration law in Arizona, authorizing police to check the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being in the U.S. illegally, has critics arguing that the law is an invitation to racial/ethnic profiling of Hispanics by the police. A 2009 Pew Research survey found that more Americans say Latinos face a lot of discrimination in society today than say the same for any other racial or ethnic group. This was not the case in 2001. Today, 23% of Americans say Hispanics face frequent discrimination; 18% say the same about African Americans. In 2001, a quarter of Americans (25%) said blacks were discriminated against “a lot,” while 19% said the same about Latinos at the time. Currently, while just 13% of whites say African Americans face a lot of discrimination, 21% of whites say Hispanics face considerable discrimination. Few Americans see a lot of discrimination against whites (10%) and Asian-Americans (8%). Read More

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