If someone tells you Latinos don't face discrimination, they're lying. The fastest growing demographic in the country over indexes when it comes to jail houses and pregnant teenagers, but falls short when it comes to boardrooms and graduate degrees. That's because Hispanics face roadblocks to success that other people, especially white men, don't have to worry about.
Latinos continue to face discrimination when it comes to fair treatment at work and accessing higher education, according to a report from The American Bar Association's Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities set to be unveiled next week.
"Despite their individual and group achievements, Latinos have yet to fully share in the benefits afforded to other members of the broader community in the United States," reads the report's introduction. "[I]t appears that there continue to be significant obstacles to equal and fair treatment for the majority of Latinos."
That's not to say that every Latino feels marginalized, but as the report notes, a 2009 Pew Research Center survey found that 70 percent of adults think Latinos face a lot or some discrimination.
While immigrants, particularly the undocumented, may face more discrimination and have fewer legal protections, the report says Latinos in general, even those who were born and raised here, face discrimination over things like skin color, language skills, and income and education levels.
Here are six other ways discrimination against Hispanics manifests itself:
Latinos face harassment at work, according to the report, including wage theft and sometimes the threat of deportation. Latinos are more likely to hold low-paying jobs and to work in the service industries, and they are underrepresented when it comes to boardrooms and managerial positions. The report found that Latina women, especially, face gender discrimination and are intimidated into not reporting unfair working conditions. The report also says that minimum wage law violations are "widespread." Latinos are also more likely to work in jobs that require the use of heavy machinery or in fields where they are exposed to pesticides, and they often have trouble accessing legal help to report abuses.
Segregation may not be a sanctioned policy anymore but it's very much alive. Latinos and African Americans are more likely to live in neighborhood with lower homeownership rates, higher poverty rates and even fewer grocery stores and transportation options. Latinos have also been disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis, the report points out. Some of that has to do with predatory lending practices and some of it from pure discrimination, according to the report.
Latinos make up the second largest group of students in schools, and they are the fastest growing population. But Latinos are also underrepresented when it comes to placement in advanced classes and college attendance. The report alleges that "by all measures the educational system is failing to adequately serve the needs of Latino students, and prepare them for civic life."