Immigration Backlash Hate Crimes Against Latinos Flourish By Brentin Mock SPLCenter.org: Immigration Backlash There's no doubt that the tone of the raging national debate over immigration is growing uglier by the day. Once limited to hard-core white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists, vicious public denunciations of undocumented brown-skinned immigrants are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, radio hosts and politicians. While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from Mexico and Central America as "invaders," "criminal aliens" and "cockroaches." The results are no less tragic for being predictable: Although hate crime statistics are highly unreliable, numbers that are available strongly suggest a marked upswing in racially motivated violence against all Latinos, regardless of immigration status. According to hate crime statistics published annually by the FBI, anti-Latino hate crimes rose by almost 35% between 2003 and 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available. What follows is a representative sampling of some of the more egregious examples of physical and psychological violence waged against Latinos over the past two-and-a-half years. The perpetrators range from racist skinheads to rogue Border Patrol agents to otherwise everyday citizens who took it upon themselves to repel an "invader," terrorize a "criminal alien," or exterminate a "cockroach."