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Central Oregon

Report details how C.O. issues have a significant impact on Latinos

(Update: Adding video, comments from Latino Community Assn., more statistics)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Latino Community Association released a report Monday that was more than a year in the making, showing how issues such as health care, education and employment affect the Latino population in Central Oregon.

Staff and volunteers used the most recent census and local education and health data to collect information from Latinos living in Central Oregon. 

U.S. Census data showed the Latino population in Central Oregon has grown from 3,267 in 1990 to an estimated 20,512 in 2018.

The report showed 75% of Latinos in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties were born in the U.S.

The LCA’s report said Latinos comprise about 7% of the population in Deschutes and Crook counties, and 20% in Jefferson County.

They made up a high percentage of the workforce, filling nearly 8,500 jobs in Central Oregon. However, the report said unemployment among the Latino population was slightly higher than for white residents.

“There is a myth that they’re taking more from social services than they’re giving to our economy, and it’s simply not true,” said Brad Porterfield, LCA’s executive director.

The report said poverty rates in the Latino community are significantly higher than among white communities.

Out of 4,942 Latino households surveyed, 46% percent have a housing need, while nearly 30% expressed a “severe” housing need.

“We need immigration reform in the country because that alone will impact many of these areas of people’s lives,” Porterfield said.

The report said more Latinos in Central Oregon fall into the typical working age than white residents. The median age of Latinos range between 22 and 28 years, compared to 43 to 51 years for white residents.

"The youthfulness of the Latino population accounts for our higher rates of labor force participation and a higher proportion among school-age children," the report stated.

It also touched on other issues facing Latino youth.

Data showed the percentage of Latinos living in Deschutes County who have a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree exceeds the statewide average for Latinos.

In a survey of LCA clients, 48% said their children told them they felt bad after hearing comments or experiencing certain attitudes by their classmates. 

Denise Holley, LCA’s research and communication assistant, said the experiences of Latinos in Central Oregon are not monolithic.

“Even though many Latinos feel welcome in Central Oregon and almost everybody who lives here loves this place, one of the downsides is sometimes, if not yourself then other Latinos, hearing derogatory comments,” Holley said.

You can see the full report here:

Crook County / Deschutes County / Jefferson County / News
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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



  1. Looks like correction time – I thought it sounded funny that older population would work more.

    From article: Latinos comprise a relatively small share of the population, the report found, but they participate in the workforce at higher percentages than white residents. That is because the median age of Latinos is much higher than white residents.

    From report: Latinos have higher rates of workforce participation than white residents in all three Central Oregon counties. This is due, in part, to the lower median age of Latinos in the region

      1. the “systematic racism ” these Democrats keep talking about has and id happening by the Democrats. its not hard to see that its real and whose doing it. just look at most of the black communities around the country and then see what kind of government leadership they have had for decades. the proof is in the pudding. Democrats have created they systematic racism and they have done a excellent job deflecting what they have done. if interesting how all these white liberals vote for things that have been oppressing blacks since the founding of this country and pretend that they are not doing it. what really makes me scratch my head is why and black person would vote Democrat after what Democrats have been doing to them for generations. the Democratic party loves the poorly educated regardless of skin color

    1. Yep. Look no further than media and politicians for the source of constant division. They can’t help but point out how everyone is different in order to stir the pot.

  2. “poverty rates significantly higher” but it is a “myth that latinos take advantage more in social services”. Cough BS cough. The report directly contradicts this Brad Portfield guy that said that.

    1. I found that confusing as well. Where is this “myth” circulating? Is it amongst the Latinx population? the non-latinx population? Central Oregon society in general? I never heard about this myth. Does anyone have any idea? Or has anyone actually heard of this myth outside the walls of the fantasyland the authors of these studies live in?

    2. Yeah, yeah I’m sure the weather affects Latinos differently, too. Nice try conflating Latinos with illegal immigration. The debate is about illegals net liability to the social safety nets not Latinos as a race. Seems the writer is ok revealing his own racist views while lacking the courage to say openly his radical agenda of open border migration .

    3. My wife is second generation here. Her parents struggled, they were poor and could hardly speak English, but worked hard. One of my wife’s brothers owns a used car sales lot, another is a teacher at the high school they all went to. Those brothers kids graduated from Texas A&M (engineering) and UT (he’s a manager at a nuclear power plant). To say that people just mooch when they come over is short sighted, they’re trying as hard as they can.

      1. “To say that people just mooch when they come over is short sighted”….. A by-product of over-zealous politicians that build their whole careers around creating Latino support at all levels. It is one reason that President Trump has historical support from Hispanics nationwide- he treats legals with respect- illegals with tough love- get in line and do it right.

  3. “We need immigration reform” – so, how did all these get here if immigration isn’t working? I get that a high % were born here but their parents or grandparents came here through current immigration rules. Didn’t it work for them? they are here???

          1. I would love to see you take a group of Americans and go down to Mexico Illegally to politic like the illegal aliens politic here. Do it. I dare you.

      1. Immigration is a mess because Democrats like Obama and Biden gave the impression that America had no borders- this will take decades to fix- and President Trump’s wall is just a finger in the dike as America shores up it’s illegal immigration problem.

  4. It seems we have never had a coherent immigration policy with regards to Mexico and Central America. Of course people are going to come over the border and employers are going to hire them. Sure, it’s illegal, but our own actions aren’t entirely consistent with our laws – we have not done whatever it takes to keep immigrants out or dis-incentivize businesses from employing them. There are now millions of illegal immigrants, but we are never going to deport them all, especially since they now have families. Correct? So what’s the most logical course of action? Well, what are our main goals? We want everyone to pay taxes, not abuse or take advantage of social services, and most importantly, keep criminals and crime out. So what about continuing the wall, implementing a registered worker program and deporting those who commit crimes? Are there any other ideas? We really have to come to some kind of consensus and stop the pointless indecision.

    1. Make it a felony to employ anybody who sneaks in or overstays, and punish it like a Measure 11 crime. Same with forging docs to gain employment.

      It’s all wishful thinking at this point. When we try to deport criminals, the puffy coat prius driving keen wearers surround the ICE buses.

        1. Are they here illegally…? I feel like that would be newsworthy! Barney – Pay attention to this guy. He has insider info that is going to turn the KTVZ comment section into the biggest news story in the world!!!

      1. Did that back in the ’80’s with full publicity, then apparently reversed it all behind the scenes? since it doesn’t appear to be illegal to hire like it was then…

    2. I think you mean “start building the wall”, I don’t consider 3km of new wall the wall that Trump promised Mexico will pay. We’ve been lied to and we continue to believe the liar-in-chief

    3. We do have a policy. It is unenforced. Democrats love the new voters and welfare dependents, big business loves the cheap labor. Nancy Pelosi’s grapes aren’t going to pick themselves.

    1. What “race” is an illegal alien? How about illegal alien control over gun control…. after all, one is a problem in Oregon while the other is not. Care to guess which cost the state more, or will you just carry on with RACIST RUSSIA RUSSIA RACIST RUSSIA… as per usual?

        1. As usual incapable of answering a question. What race is “illegal alien?” You won’t answer because you assume all illegal aliens are latinos. You’re a racist clown.

      1. You’ll have to excuse the liberals, they like catchy little phrases,
        and one of the most recent of their fabrications is, ” white privilege “…
        In time they will wear that one out from overuse too, but rest assured,
        they will come up with something equally stupid to replace it with…

  5. So, if 75% are legal, then it follows that 25% are illegal and that perhaps is the problem as these people are a net drain on the system and are enough to ruin it for everyone in your little Hispanic sample.
    Fix the illegal problem and the rest of the “problem” will vanish.

  6. Illegals absolutely “ taking more from social services than they’re giving to our economy”. ….but I note the report goes out of it’s way to mention legal status but rather talks about ‘immigration reform’ = amnesty

  7. Maybe I’m just crazy. It would seem people born in the US would identify as Americans.
    Gotta keep picking that scab though. Content people are hard to control and as Alinsky says, rub raw the wounds of discontent.” The democrats need victims. It’s good for business.

      1. Awww. The toddler called me a “dummy.” Maybe you’ll learn some bad words too. One of these days you might even learn some reading comprehension as I was responding to the 75% born on US soil are being dividing and agitated by race rather then celebrated for being Americans. But being “American” is offensive to the overgrown toddlers like yourself so no matter what you’ll still divide people by race because you’re just a filthy racist toddler. .

    1. You’re not crazy–you just tend to oversimplify to the point of uselessness.

      Also, listen to a Trump rally speech and see if you see any discontent or victims.

    1. The progressive democrats have to be careful. They don’t want to anger the black Americans by admitting they are more concerned with the new voting bloc of new victims. How much an American, who is black, feel when the democrats say the transgendered non-binary people and illegal aliens are the real civil rights cause they care about? Imagine that. The democrat party fought to keep slavery and after they lost that started the KKK. After your acestors were brought here in slavery all that is now swept in the dustbin of history for someone who doesn’t know what bathroom to use.

  8. “We need immigration reform in the country because that alone will impact many of these areas of people’s lives,” Porterfield said. ”

    What we need is for people to go through the proper legal channels to enter and
    stay in our country, instead of the constant stream of people that disobey our laws
    and sneak across the border because it’s what they want to do, and once they are here
    they complain about not being treated fairly…
    Well guess what, if you come into this country legally you would be treated differently, but when you completely disrespect our laws, you aren’t going to get treated with respect, or receive any sympathy… If people really want to be here, put in the time and effort
    and earn your citizenship. It’s not our job to change just to make your life easier.

  9. Seems like people who founded America from illegal immigration are upset that there’s more colors than white on peoples skin boo hoo. I’m too lazy to work a very labor intensive job so I blame anybody of color when I see them working waahh. My fellow white Americans like to extort money, corrupt the government and not give any decent human a good life. My only response to someone of color that doesn’t speak the same language is speak English here or go back to where you came from oooooohhh. The future is colored and you guys are all upset we’ll work harder, longer and better than you guys and it’ll eat ya right up until you’re the minority and feel how everyone else that’s non-white did

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