07/11/11 – President Barack Obama’s administration experienced a 65% increase in hate crimes from 2009 to 2010, 7 out of 10 of them being toward Mexican citizens, announced Edmundo Ramírez Martínez, Minister of Immigration Affairs of the National Confederation of Popular Organizations (Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Populares, CNOP). He urged for the president’s immediate attention, and condemned the injustices that immigrants face in the United States.
Ramírez, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI), criticized the laws that he argues target Hispanics in the United States, such as SB1070 in Arizona, and which have fueled the increase in violence towards Mexicans and other immigrants. He argued that laws of this nature contribute to discrimination and promote ‘racist groups’, citing that while “830 hate groups existed in 2009, there are now 2,000 groups that attack the dignity of Hispanics,” stated El Universal. He also decried the laws’ recent rejection of education and health privileges to immigrants. In addition to criticizing the anti-immigration laws, Ramírez drew attention to the number of Mexicans in U.S. prisons, which he considered unlawful because 80% lacked proper legal defense or judicial tracking. He claimed that many face the death penalty because they do not receive legal advice or legal protection throughout the proceedings.
Of the increase in hate crimes towards Hispanics, Ramírez noted the severity of several, pointing to the recent murder of Mexican national Fausto Armenta in New York City. Armenta, 21, was found beaten to death in a neighborhood near his home in Queens, New York in June. Ramírez also pointed out that at least five Mexicans from his home state of Hidalgo have been the victims of hate crime in the United States.