Yet it is unclear if Latinos and Latino communities defy or exemplify the crime-prone or high-crime characterization in twenty neighbor­ hoods drawn here from the five cities under study. Like other ethnic and immigrant groups, Latinos who settled in the United States often chose specific cities and communities previously settled by their compatriots. Many neighborhoods were populated by established Latinos, some fam­ ilies several generations old, others a couple of decades; almost all, how­ ever, were products of an earlier migrant stream. While violence was routine in many places and many residents were potentially at risk for a number of urban problems, economic opportunities were relatively abundant and political stability reigned in the United States more so than in the immigrants’ home country, both at the turn of the twentieth

century and the start of the current one.3 Where the two eras diverge is in the founding of Latino communities. I contend that they now create a buffer zone against crime despite living conditions as dilapidated as in any other impoverished community.