I ran across another excellent data source that can help answer the question of whether Hispanics have higher crime rates than whites. It's homicide data from the CDC that is based on coroner's reports. I present below homicides per 100,000 per year averaged over the eight most recent years of data--1999 to 2006. Keep in mind that most homicides are intra-racial, so the rate of victimizations mirrors the rate of offenses:
The Hispanic rate is almost three times that of whites. How is it that Hispanic-white differences don't always look this large when looking at other sources of data, like incarceration rates?
I suspect the answers lies with the fact that most crimes never come to the attention of the criminal justice system if no one reports the crime. And even if someone calls the police, many crimes, to be prosecuted, require victims who are willing to press charges and credible witnesses who are willing to testify. Immigrant communities are famous for their unwillingness to report crimes and to cooperate with the criminal justice system (CJS).
Blacks, for all their criticisms of police, are quick to call them. It makes sense to focus on homicide data since dead bodies testify for themselves, and the rates shown above suggest that crime in the Hispanic community (and the Amerindian and Asian communities as well) is worse than CJS data indicate. Many of those Hispanic victims are illegals killed by illegals--once again, homicide is typically intra-group. Hispanic illegals are probably more criminal than the CJS data suggest.