Saturday, June 07, 2008

Media Matters Report Further Debunks Dobbsian Myths

Undocumented immigrants:

* Commit a disproportionate number of crimes throughout the country.
* Rely heavily on taxpayer-funded services while paying no taxes themselves.
* Bring to America rare and nasty diseases, such as leprosy.

Sound familiar?

That could be because you’ve heard it all before on cable news, where derogatory myths about immigrants are regularly presented as fact.

Last summer the Intelligence Report revealed that several major cable news hosts, most notably CNN’s Lou Dobbs, were broadcasting discredited information as part of their ratings-grabbing anti-immigration polemics, in some cases relaying falsehoods that originated with white supremacists.

Now, a new report from the Media Matters Action Network further debunks the most pernicious of these rumors with statistics from respected sources, and offers a blistering criticism of three cable programs whose hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs — never seem to tire of blaming illegal immigrants for various societal ills or demonstrating a reckless disregard for the truth.

“When it comes to this issue [of anti-immigrant rhetoric], cable news overflows not just with vitriol, but also with a series of myths that feed viewers’ resentment and fears, seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria,” states the introduction to Fear & Loathing in Prime Time.

The 21-page report, which was released May 23, goes on to quantify just how often O’Reilly, Beck and Dobbs rail against undocumented immigrants: “Dobbs is the one most obsessed with the topic; indeed, instead of Lou Dobbs Tonight, his program might be more properly called Lou Dobbs Crusades Against Illegal Immigration Tonight. Fully 70 percent of the 2007 episodes of Lou Dobbs Tonight contained discussion of illegal immigration. The O’Reilly Factor is not far behind; 56 percent of 2007 episodes discussed illegal immigration. And though Glenn Beck was less consumed with the issue (28 percent of his 2007 programs discussed it), his show is the one on which viewers often find the most inflammatory claims.”

The most widespread damaging misperceptions, spouted as gospel by these commentators, are that undocumented immigrants are responsible for a “crime wave,” and that they drain government coffers by consuming social services without paying taxes.

The Media Matters report points out that both these assertions are untrue. Citing a Harvard study, Justice Department statistics, and a study from the Public Policy Institute of California, the report concludes that “there is no evidence to indicate that undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than American citizens; indeed, the evidence strongly suggests that immigrants in general are less likely to commit crimes.”

Another anti-immigrant myth that refuses to die, even though it was thoroughly debunked by the Intelligence Report last year, is one that blames Mexican and Central American immigrants for a supposed dramatic upsurge in leprosy. The Media Matters report highlights the repeated assertion on Lou Dobbs Tonight that 7,000 cases of leprosy were documented in the United States between 2002 and 2004. In fact, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there were only 398 cases of leprosy recorded during that period.

Fear & Loathing in Prime Time also shows up urban legends that falsely claim plans are afoot to build a “NAFTA superhighway,” to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into the “North American Union,” or to re-conquer parts of the Southwest for Mexico, falsehoods the Intelligence Report first examined and countered last summer.

In defending his show’s ridiculous leprosy story, Lou Dobbs infamously assured 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl that, “If we reported it, it’s a fact.” But as Fear & Loathing in Prime Time makes all the more clear, when it comes to the national immigration debate, facts are secondary to ideology where Dobbs and company are concerned.

Source: SPLCenter

7 comments:

zeezil said...

You should now be painfully aware that illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. The most recent tragedy of four Cottonwood, MN children killed (and the many injured) by an illegal alien driver is a terrible reminder of the failure of our government to simply enforce existing immigration laws. At least on two occasions, local police encountered the perpetrator for infractions of the law, yet did nothing. Due to their ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach which is obviously supported by the police chiefs, city administrators and even the state legislature, four innocent American children are now dead. State legislators must take charge of their own constituent’s welfare and work to require ALL laws are followed and enforced. Obviously, American citizens cannot pick and choose which laws they will follow, but illegal aliens, with government and law enforcement complicity, can. Following the law, abiding by the law and supporting the law is "work" that illegal aliens just won’t do. Two different groups have emerged in America today due to the effect of illegal immigration, those who have to obey the law (citizens) and those who don't (illegal aliens). How shameful that is.

It is not racist, bigoted or xenophobic to demand that our country’s borders be secured and to support immigration law enforcement. It is racist, bigoted and xenophobic by illegal aliens, their facilitators and advocates to demand that we allow them free reign with impunity in our country, simply because of who they are. Don't fall for their ploy, exhibit a staunch backbone and tell them we are the most diverse nation on the face of the earth and welcome more LEGAL immigrants that the rest of the entire world combined does every year. However, where we draw the line is with the "illegal" portion of the term illegal immigrant. Those who want to come to America legally, play by the rules, pay taxes and be a productive contributor to our economy and society, obey the law and assimilate into our culture will be welcomed by all citizens. Those that don’t not only will not be welcomed, they should be told to leave.

Political power is the real reason immigration advocacy groups are opposed to immigration law enforcement and successful immigration enforcement programs. Any failure by legislators to act and take away the sanctuary status of cities will ultimately lead to a radical shift and upheaval in American demographics resulting in the disenfranchisement of many American citizens.

Have you heard the saying, when California sneezes, the rest of the country catches the flu? Generally what starts in California eventually spreads to the rest of the country. That is, unless a state takes measures to resist it. Unless every state realistically tackles illegal immigration by instituting Comprehensive Immigration ENFORCEMENT, which California has refused to do, this is what you can expect:

As of 2006, California contained greater than 25% of the total illegal alien population within the U.S. Many of these illegals concentrate in Los Angeles. New statistics from the Department of Public Social Services reveal that illegal aliens and their families in Los Angeles County collected over $37 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in November 2007 – up $3 million dollars from September. Twenty five percent of the all welfare and food stamps benefits are going directly to the children of illegal aliens. Illegals collected over $20 million in welfare assistance for November 2007 and over $16 million in monthly food stamp allocations for a projected annual cost of $444 million. "This new information shows an alarming increase in the devastating impact Illegal immigration continues to have on Los Angeles County taxpayers," said Antonovich, LA County Supervisor. "With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $444 million in welfare allocations, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education."

Just keep in mind that the $37 million a month is for only one county in one state and is only welfare and foodstamp benefits. It doesn't include hospital care, education, fraud, wage depression, crime, depreciation of housing values, the portion of bad loans given to illegal aliens by banks, insurance costs and the myriad of other burdensome expenses that illegal aliens put on the backs of American citizens. There are 29 sanctuary cities in California and because of that there should be little wonder why so many illegal aliens stay in this state. They basically operate with impunity and even if they get arrested for a serious crime there is little chance of them being deported. They can sign up for welfare and food stamps with no questions asked and the hospitals provide them with free care as long as there are still emergency rooms that can’t turn them away for lack of funds. All things considered, California has rolled out the welcome mat for them.

Is there any wonder that California is right now in a fiscal crisis emergency with a budget deficit greater than $14 billion and growing? Reliable estimates calculate illegal aliens cost the state $10.5 billion each year! So what’s Schwarzenegger’s solution? A 10 percent across-the-board reduction in state agency funding,, transferring $2 billion in spending to the next fiscal year and increasing taxes. Why not cut all public services to those not in the U.S. legally? Just a simple thought on my part that would go a long way to putting California back on its feet. A bell should be ringing in your head about right now that tells you this is what is coming throughout America if you refuse to demand that legislators stop illegal immigration, remove illegal aliens and enforce our laws.

The Congressional Budget Office in December 2007 (CBO: The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments) stated the tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to those immigrants. Illegal immigrants are a NET COST LOSS and a burden to the budgets of all states. This cost is largely borne by the states and citizen taxpayers. Federal payments allocated by Washington fall far short in reimbursing state and local government expenditures.

The annual cost for uncompensated emergency care to Mexican Border States (California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas) is $200 million. California taxpayers paid $79 million for illegal alien health care. Texas paid $74 million. –Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Center.

The average annual cost per child for education is $7,161, totaling $109 billion to educate illegal aliens annually. The average cost of bilingual education is $1,200 per illegal student. U.S. schools annually educate 1.1 million illegal children. -Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Center.

A major cost factor in the conduct of school operations relates to the vast number of children of illegal immigrants in our classroom and the special-training dictates for many of those students being taught in their native language — some 82 languages in San Diego County, 112 languages in Los Angeles County. – North County Times, March 2008. In New York City alone, more than 200 languages are spoken in the public schools. –NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

$108.2 million is spent each year by U.S. border counties in the four state region to pay for law enforcement, criminal justice and emergency healthcare services to illegal immigrants, states a February 2008 report from the United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition (USMBCC). Current federal reimbursement returns only 11.5 cents on the dollar to counties for handling criminal illegal immigrant services.

From 1999 through 2006, the 24 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border spent a cumulative $1.23 billion on services to process criminal undocumented immigrants through the law enforcement and criminal justice system. In fiscal year 2006 alone, the cost was $192 million. Yet, the federal government has only reimbursed these 24 counties $4.7 million for detaining criminal undocumented immigrants for fiscal year 2006 (and $54.8 million since 1999). These are staggering costs considering the rural nature and poverty level of most of these border counties. The costs to process undocumented immigrants come at the expense of basic, vital services to county residents. (Undocumented Immigrants in U.S. Border Counties: The Costs of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Services; U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition February 2008)

The average illegal immigrant family uses $2,700/year more in services than it pays in taxes. In 2002, this amounted to a $10.4 billion drain on the federal budget. Some of the greatest federal costs included: Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion). According to the CIS report, since most of the illegal aliens currently in the workforce do not have a high school diploma, they only qualify for low paying jobs. That translates into low federal tax payments. Should illegal aliens ever receive an amnesty, it is estimated that net deficit costs would triple to $7,700 per household due to eligibility to all federal, state and local services. http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalrelease.html

Furthermore; nationwide, 40% of households headed by an illegal alien receive welfare benefits and 56% have no health insurance. Standard & Poor’s reports that education of illegal alien children costs the states and federal government $11 billion dollars per year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hduG9Dw0oYg

Heritage Foundation research shows in FY 2004, at the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household received $14,145 in benefits and services and paid only $5,309 in taxes (those that actually paid taxes). The average low skill immigrant households imposed a net fiscal burden on state and local government of $8,836 per year. That is approximately $9000 for EACH immigrant household of which at least 50% are illegal aliens.

In California, each illegal immigrant will take $50,000 in services from the state beyond what he will contribute in taxes during his lifetime. -The Immigration Solution; Manhattan Institute, 2007

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation calculates that each immigrant who is a high school dropout, as most Mexican immigrants are, will end up costing taxpayers $85,000 over his lifetime.

Taxpayers in our country pay more than $100 billion every year on health care and other services for illegal immigrants, including education, law enforcement costs, and housing. – Congressman Dean Heller-Jan. 2008 http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20080127/OPINION/729401847

A Harvard University study released in January 2008 found that illegal aliens depressed wages in Arizona by $1.4 billion dollars. Hardest hit were low skilled legal workers whose wages fell by 5%. Wage suppression of American workers is a consistent effect throughout the country due to the employment of illegal aliens. http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/0109biz-illlegalscost0110-ON.html

40% of the decline in employment of black men is due to immigration. Foreign workers are taking American's jobs and depressing wages. And while Americans from all backgrounds are being harmed, lower to middle income African American workers are being disproportionately affected. –Dr. Frank Morris, former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; February 2008.

The World Bank reports (Worldwide Remittance Flow to Developing Nations Report) for 2006, $68.1 billion dollars were sent by migrant workers (more than 50% illegal aliens) mostly from the U.S. to Latin America. Mexico received 24.4 billion, South America 24.4, Central America 11 billion and the Caribbean 8.4 billion. This is a direct transfer of a huge portion of our economy to the third world; largely by a group of people (illegal aliens) who are not even authorized to work in our country much less have an established presence here.

The U.S. government estimates that since 2003, Mexican drug trafficking organizations have repatriated $22 billion to Mexico from the U.S., which is 20% of all money sent to Mexico from it’s citizens residing, legally and illegally here during this interval. Drug money remittances have accelerated since 2002 when the U.S. government allowed banks to accept the Mexican Matricula Consular ID card. This has enabled these crime groups to engage in money laundering. (U.S. State Department report; March 2008)

Questions you should be asking include "Why is even $1 of taxpayer money being consumed providing services and paying for the huge cost burden of illegal aliens in every state of America? Why are we allowing business and corporations to import cheap foreign labor (both legal and illegal) to drive down wages and put Americans out of work? Why are we importing a foreign workforce that transfers a significant amount of money from our economy to foreign nations?"

If the illegality of illegal immigration and the tremendous cost burden to American taxpayers, our economy, our society and our culture doesn’t infuriate you, then look over just a few studies that put illegal alien crime in focus:

(1) Violating the immigration law is a CRIME
(2) Forging documents is a FELONY CRIME
(3) Passing forged documents is a FELONY CRIME
(4) Stealing ID is a FELONY CRIME
(5) Using stolen ID is a FELONY CRIME

A US GAO study found in a study population of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated, on average, each had been arrested 8 times for a total arrest figure of at least 459,614 times. If that isn't astounding enough, these 55,322 illegals in the study population had been arrested for committing 700,000 criminal offenses, which averages 13 crimes per illegal alien. So, each illegal alien incarcerated had been arrested 8 times and had committed at least 13 crimes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, in 2005, 25% of prisoners in federal prisons were illegal aliens, and 4% were legal aliens. This proportion has not gone down; if anything, it has gone up markedly. Tom DeWeese, President of the American Policy Institute states that today, illegal aliens make up twenty nine percent of the U.S. prison population. Bill O'Reilly is on record more recently stating that illegal aliens account for 32% of the federal and state prison population.

The US Justice Department reported that in 2003, alone, 270,000 illegal immigrants had served prison time. The Federation for American Immigration Reform reports: "In March 2000, Congress made public Department of Justice statistics showing that, over the previous five years, the INS had released over 35,000 criminal aliens instead of deporting them. Over 11,000 of those released went on to commit serious crimes, over 1,800 of which were violent ones; including 98 homicides, 142 sexual assaults, and 44 kidnappings. In 2001, thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court, the INS was forced to release into our society over 3,000 criminal aliens who collectively had been convicted of 125 homicides, 387 sex offenses, and 772 assault charges." http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/27/114208.shtml?s=ic

According to the well-respected U.S. Center for Immigration Studies (www.cis.org), incarcerated convicted illegal aliens make up 29 percent of federal, state and local prisons at a cost of more than $1.6 billion annually. This number doubles when the costs for apprehension, the justice system, public defenders, interpreters, prosecutors and the courts add to the total.

Illegals represent about 8 percent of Arizona's population and the Arizona Department of Corrections reports that Mexican nationals make up 12 percent of the state's 37,200-inmate prison population.

Undocumented aliens, mostly from Mexico and Central America, now total 1953 inmates in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s jail system. That number represents 21 percent of the overall inmate population of men and women housed in the nation’s third largest jail system. Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that is just small part of the story about those incarcerated in his jails. He says that recent figures show that serious crime (class four felonies and above) are committed substantially by illegal aliens. During two recent surveys, between 27 and 53 percent of all suspects booked into the jail on serious felonies had immigration holds placed on them. The vast majority of those with holds were in the United States illegally. According to the Sheriff’s figures, illegal alien inmate population numbers have grown steadily in Arizona and other border states over the last several years. In March 2005, the illegal alien population in Arpaio’s jails totaled approximately 700. (Borderfire Report 2/28/08 )

A new study shows one in five inmates in North Carolina metropolitan jails were not born in this country. The Sheriff’s Association believes a large number of those inmates are here illegally as well. (News 14 Carolina 2/21/08 )

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation contacted DHS Secretary Chertoff requesting an additional 22 ICE agents for deportations and to investigate crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants. "Our jails are full. The crime rates continue to increase, and we can no longer let this problem escalate," reads one of the letters, signed by Utah's two senators and three representatives. Numerous illegal aliens are committing crimes in Utah communities with virtual impunity," The state now has 25 such agents. (Salt Lake Tribune, 03/05/2008 )

The conservative Federation for Immigration Reform contends that while illegal immigrants made up 3 percent of the total U.S. population in 2003 they made up 5 percent of the total prison population. http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_illegalsandcrime

The Violent Crimes Institute conducted a study in 2006 that determined there were more than 100 sex offenders crossing our southern border daily. Data indicates that there are approximately 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each, totaling over one million sex crimes.

Illegal aliens are killing more Americans than the Iraq war, says a report from Family Security Matters that estimates some 2,158 murders are committed every year by illegal aliens in the U.S. The group says that number is more than 15 percent of all the murders reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. and about three times the representation of illegal aliens in the general population.

The report from FSM estimates that the 267,000 illegal aliens currently incarcerated in the nation are responsible for nearly 1,300,000 crimes, ranging from drug arrests to rape and murder. Such statistics debunk the claim that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. http://www.gopusa.com/news/2007/february/0222_illegals_report.shtml

Crimes committed by alien criminals costs U.S. taxpayers $1.6 billion in prison costs alone. The figure doesn’t include the cost of lost property, medical bills of the victims, lost work time for injury recovery, higher insurance costs, etc. –Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Institute.

In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens. The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave: City Journal, winter 2004 http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_1_the_illegal_alien.html

One thing that is never even mentioned by the champions of the illegal aliens nor is factored into any crime studies is the fact that ALL illegal aliens have a 3 – 5 crimes committed head start on American citizens (see the 5 point list above).

Do you ever hear an acknowledgement from the illegal alien facilitators of the more than 50,000 Americans that have been killed by illegal aliens through murder, manslaughter and drunk driving just since 9/11/01? Of course not, that doesn't fit within their pre-determined conclusion that illegals are only hard working economically displaced ‘migrants’ that regardless of the laws they break by entering, remaining and operating in America, are only here for a better life at the expense of no one. Excuse me for being cynical but I’ve seen the data, read the studies, considered the facts and seen the reality. If you haven’t done the same, I urge you to do so without delay.

Furthermore, legalizing an illegal alien’s presence in America by rewarding their illegal behavior through amnesty is not the way to build a good system of law and order. It only invites more criminal activity and non-compliance with our laws.

The central question for everyone, including the facilitators, illegal alien advocates, the ‘no human being is illegal’ compassion crowd, every legislator and RESPONSIBLE MEDIA REPORTERS is this…Why should even ONE American suffer a crime OF ANY SORT at the hands of an illegal alien? With border security and zero tolerance for illegal immigration, these crimes against our citizens are essentially 100% preventable.

I urge you to view this video that puts the tragedy of illegal alien crime victims into perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpomTIkv0V8&feature=PlayList&p=4EED1264205A2408&index=3

Isn’t it about time that we engage in Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement rather than allow amnesty with Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

zeezil said...

Illegal alien crime rates, as bad as they are, do not capture the complete situation. A huge statistic is missed, that if quantified would boost the crime numbers and costs of illegal aliens immensely. That is, many jurisdictions don't determine the immigration status of a perpetrator of a crime (don't even ask) and many others are sanctuary cities that are forbidden from asking the immigration status of crime perpetrators.

Technically, any crime committed by an illegal that is not correctly assigned to illegal aliens, gets assigned to citizens. So the crime statistics for illegal aliens is much lower than it should be while those for citizens would be correspondingly higher than it should.

Furthermore, for those that have been ID'ed as illegal aliens, many are released back into the community or deported before being imprisoned, therefore their presence is never counted in the percentages of illegal aliens in our jails.

Bottom line, the numbers of illegal aliens quantified as committing crimes and in prison are woefully underestimated. In fact, the crime of illegal entry (8 U.S.C. 1325), which every illegal alien here has committed is not even made a part of the calculations. Furthermore, every illegal alien operating here and working is doing so by utilizing fraudulent documents or stolen ID. Again, this crime isn’t factored into crime rates, as well.
A more realistic statistic would be to report on the number of "foreign born" committing crimes. That, though would be a misleading stat because a number of foreign-born have had their immigration status adjusted to a legal visa still in effect or even citizenship.

But, the central question that hasn't been asked...why do we tolerate even ONE crime by an illegal alien? These crimes are totally preventable by not allowing these perps into the country in the first place by having a border wall, securing the borders and enforcing our currently existing immigration laws.

The Galactic Dreamer said...

Undocumented immigrants:

* Commit a disproportionate number of crimes throughout the country.
* Rely heavily on taxpayer-funded services while paying no taxes themselves.
* Bring to America rare and nasty diseases, such as leprosy.

Ahem....The first word, "Undocumented" means that they have broken the law by entering the United States of America. That's their first crime.

Next, they break the law whenever they get a job, because as an "undocumented" worker, they have presented false identification.

Third, they don't pay taxes. Sure they have taxes taken out of their paycheck, but they don't do anything come April 15th, thus breaking the law.

Of course they rely heavily on the American Taxpayer. Everytime they go to the Emergency Room, they are served at MY cost. That is an unfair burden.

You people need to wake up and smell the concrete. It's bleeding heart pukes like you who will start the next American revolution.

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