Latinos in the U.S. Do Not Face Widespread Discrimination

Says who? Latinos in the U.S., that’s who. That conclusion may seem shocking, given the daily complaints and lawsuits emanating from an entire cottage industry of self-described civil rights groups dedicated to protecting Latinos in the U.S. from every manner of discrimination and injustice. But according to a nationwide survey conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health, Latinos in the U.S. report that they face very little discrimination. The survey, Views from Latino America, includes the opinions of native-born and immigrants. It also examines the perceptions of U.S. Latinos from six backgrounds: Mexico, Central America, South America, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. In addition to not believing they face widespread discrimination, immigrants – who constitute 54 percent of the U.S. Latino population – believe that by every yardstick of social justice, they are treated better and more fairly than in their countries of origin. The findings of the survey are a testament to the basic fairness and civility of American society. According to the perceptions of Latinos themselves:

  • 91% did not encounter discrimination from police or the judicial system.
  • 87% did not encounter discrimination in the workplace
  • 74% believe that the rights of women are better protected in the U.S.
  • 87% believe that they have opportunities to get ahead in the U.S.
  • 79% believe they are safer from crime and violence in the U.S.
  • 71% believe their children receive a better education in the U.S.
  • 72% believe the poor are treated better in the U.S.

No society on Earth is entirely free from invidious discrimination and bigotry. Where it does exist in the United States, we must all work to eradicate it. However, this comprehensive survey of how Latinos perceive their lives in the U.S. does raise the question of whether the multitude of well-financed advocacy groups are really listening to the people they claim to represent.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Latinos have always been respectful of their immediate surroundings in that they as a group are law abiding and have little to no criminal tendencies. By and large they are a family oriented group based on a solid religious foundation. Without giving a an exact number on just how many Hispanics have migrated to the USA, of those who did come to the USA did so for economic reasons. These people want to work and if you have ever been to Yuma AZ or El Centro California you will know why. Unlike the other major minority in the USA who has figured out that to be lazy is an art, Hispanic People will do any back breaking work just to put food on their own table. They are truly an asset to this country.

  2. avatar

    Ira you need more info in your article………….what is the percent of this study out of the 330 M americans and where do they live, etc…………………………may be the average person might go ahead and believe you but for the ones that think you lack of data to back up your results…..ths fact is that latinos do face discrimination…

    • avatar

      Uh hello? If you click the link “Views from Latino America”, anyone can see that the survey is done under the auspices of Harvard University and NPR. What more “back up” for the study do you need? On what basis do YOU make the statement that Latinos face discrimination? The fact is that we bend over backwards to not discriminate in THIS country. It’s self evident that immigrants are here because it’s BETTER here. Hello?

      If you want to talk discrimination, talk Mexico. Mexican law forbids a lot of political and military offices to those not born in that country. We have one office only, the presidency. Mexican law also gives an automatic two year preference on becoming a citizen to those born in Spanish speaking countries. Unlike HERE, where if you meet the legal requirements, it does not matter where you’re from. Troll all you want, but stick to the facts.

    • avatar

      Thank you JIm.
      I have been very close to several Mexican families for the past 10 years. They have become part of my family. My family basically arrived on the Mayflower so I have no connection to them except one of love and respect.

      The reason they never answer this type of question truthfully is that they want NO Problems. They know if they said they face discrimination many people would give the answer “go back to Mexico if you don’t like it here”!

      The fact is they do like it here and simply want legal status or citizenship to live their lives.

      • avatar

        Sue mine came in the Winthrop Fleet and it is disappointing to see we have forgotten the reason this country came to be what it is…….no titles and self complacence……..because it is Harvard and NPR we have to trust such hollow.piece of information…..and be a yes man and like sheep follow and agree…….I agree with you Sue…….

      • avatar

        Sue, if your friends are here illegally, and it sounds like they might be, then their choice to break the laws of this country is a major reason for discrimination against Latinos. When so many illegal aliens are Hispanic, and when one country, Mexico, sends so many, it would be surprising if Americans didn’t associate Hispanics with law breaking line jumpers, which is really what your friends are. By the way, MY grandparents were Arabs who came here at the turn of the century under the laws that YOUR family set. Why is it you seem to think that because you’re friends with Mexican illegal aliens, that entitles you to ignore the laws NOW?

        • avatar

          …and THAT is the bottom line. If anyone enters a country without legal credentials, they are BREAKING THE LAW. How can we alter our laws to accommodate millions who have broken the law ? All the positive attributes do NOT change that fact.

      • avatar
        Trappedincalifornia on

        After 30 years in California I can attest to the fact that Hispanics are not discriminated against here, nor are they a minority anymore. They run many businesses & occupy multiple elected offices across the state. There are many places in California where all business is conducted in Spanish & English speakers are the ones who can’t function. That’s the truth.

        BTW, my ancestors came here in 1628, but I don’t feel as quilty about that as you obviously do. Your ancestors risked their very lives to get here & worked darn hard to make this country a success.