Illegal immigration is a
significant issue for Americans and deserves attention, but whoever authored
this eRumor did not help his or her cause. Most of the figures are
either difficult to prove or don't match known facts. Some seem to
be fabricated. A couple actually proved their point even better than the
Some versions say the figures are from the Los Angeles Times (which is
not true). Others say they are statistics from the FBI (which is
not true either).
One of the challenges with this topic is that illegal immigrants are
somewhat invisible to statistics. They are living underground and
the best figures about illegal immigrants are mostly based on deductions
from those who are either in professional positions working with
immigrant issues or doing research on immigration. None of the
estimates should be considered the last word on illegal immigration and
the figures we found sometimes varied widely.
Here is our research on each of the points of the email:
40% of all workers in
has 10.2 million people)
Economic Roundtable in Los
Angeles issued a report in 2005 on what it called "L.A's
Off-The-Books labor force." Its research was about the city
of Los Angeles, not the entire county, and concluded that there were
3,908,000 wage earners in the city and about 972,000 "informal
workers," meaning they were getting paid under the table. It
does not break down how many of them might have been illegal aliens, but
the percentage was no where near 40 percent. Los Angeles Almanac
estimated number of "unreported jobs" in 2005 in Los Angeles
County at 643,000 with a number of workers at 4,090.630.
95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles
are for illegal aliens-Mostly
The most commonly quoted
source for this is a report by Heather McDonald and published by the
Center for Immigration Studies. She repeated her research on April
13, 2005 in testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on "Immigration, Border
Security, and Claims" saying that 95 percent of all outstanding warrants
for homicide in Los Angeles targeted illegal aliens.
75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles
are illegal aliens-Unproven!
could not find anything to substantiate this. If you browse
through the Most Wanted list for the Los Angeles Police Department there
are a lot of foreign-born listed, but not how many of them may be
4. Over 2/3 of all
births in Los Angeles
are to illegal alien
on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers-Inaccurate!
to a report by the Los Angeles Times, about half the births in Los
Angeles County in 2004 were to undocumented women. In 1989
California required by law that the state Medi-Cal program be
available to pregnant women living in poverty.
Nearly 25% of all inmates in
Mexican nationals here illegally-Fiction!
National statistics would tend to suggest that this claim is not true.
A 2007 report by the
said that among men 18-39, which represents the majority of prison
inmates, the incarceration rate of foreign born was 0.7 percent while
the incarceration rate of native born was 3.5 percent.
Foreign born Mexicans had an incarceration rate of 0.7 percent in
2000 compared with 5.9 percent for native born men of Mexican descent.
The report did not say how many of the foreign born were illegal.
A 1993 report to the California Joint Committee on Prison Construction
and Operations estimated that more than 15 percent of the 116,000 state
prison inmates were illegal aliens. In her congressional testimony
(referenced above), Heather McDonald said that the L.A. County Sheriff
reported in 2000 that 23% of inmates in county jails were deportable,
according to the New York Times. That's all inmates, however, not
Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles
are living in garages-Unproven!
It is known that large numbers
of illegal immigrants are crammed into houses and apartments that are
too small for the number of people living in them and that others are
living in garages, but we could not find anyone who kept statistics on
garage-dwellers or how anybody would know their numbers.
7. The FBI reports half of all
gang members in Los Angeles
likely illegal aliens from south of the border-Unproven!
It is known that gangs do include illegal aliens but coming up with a
reliable statistic would be difficult. Again, the gangs operate
Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal-Unproven!
9. 21 radio stations in L.A.
are Spanish speaking-Mostly Truth!
As the Spanish-speaking
population of Los Angeles has grown so has the presence of
Spanish-speaking media. We counted about 18 stations in Los
Angeles that are either Spanish or are multi-cultural and include
Spanish in their music or programming. At this writing, four of
the top ten stations in Los Angeles are Spanish and the number-one
station is usually Spanish.
5.1 million people speak English.
million speak Spanish.
are 10.2 million people in
But the Real Figures Support the
U.S.Census Bureau reported that as of 2004, 3.9 million people in L.A.County
spoke only English at home; 3.7 million spoke primarily Spanish at home.
Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops,
but 29% are on welfare-Fiction!
department of Labor said that the number of farm workers who were
undocumented in 1998-1998 was 52%
Regarding welfare, most illegal immigrants are not eligible for
welfare except for elementary and high school education and emergency
medical care. Children born in the
U.S. are citizens and qualify for certain public assistance. But what is
generally thought of as welfare is available only to citizens or legal
Over 70% of the United States
annual population growth
over 90% of
, and New York) is illegal aliens-Fiction!
U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that the number of
illegal aliens increased in 2000 by 408,000 while the general population
increased by 32,712,033.