Oklahoma criminals are increasingly targeting illegal immigrants – or people they perceive to be illegal immigrants – because the victims are reluctant to report crimes due to fear of being deported, the Oklahoman reports. The victims also are targeted because they are not likely to have bank accounts and are more likely to carry large amounts of cash. Tulsa police say about 40 percent of all robberies target Hispanic immigrants. It’s a problem in Oklahoma City as well, a police spokesman said.
Some say the trend illustrates the danger of local enforcement of federal immigration laws, as is being done in Tulsa County. Others think it points to the problem of sustaining a presence of noncitizens within our borders. “In a way, they are the perfect victims,” said Michael Brooks-Jimenez, an Oklahoma City immigration attorney. “Whatever inroads the Oklahoma City Police Department and the police in other places have made with the Hispanic community to re-establish their trust has been eroded by these criminals that continue to target them.”