Journalist Tina Griego Penned a Column Titled "Mexican Visitor's Lament"-Incorrect Attribution!

Journalist Tina Griego Penned a Column Titled “Mexican Visitor’s Lament”Incorrect Attribution! 

Summary of eRumor:
Tina Griego, a journalist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, wrote a column titled “Mexican Visitor’s Lament” that talks about the benefits of 20 million illegal aliens immediately leaving the country.
The Truth:
Tina Griego didn’t write the “Mexican Visitor’s Lament” column.
The Mexican Visitor’s Lament column first appeared online in 2007. The column attempts to explain what would happen if 20 million illegal aliens immediately vacated America:

That’s a good question. . . it deserves an answer. Over 80 percent of Americans demand secured borders and illegal migration stopped. But what would happen if all 20 million or more vacated America? The answers may surprise you! In California, if 3.5 million illegal aliens moved back to Mexico it would leave an extra 10.2 billion to spend on overloaded school systems, bankrupt hospitals and overrun prisons. It would leave highways cleaner, safer and less congested. Everyone could understand one another as English became the dominant language again.

In Colorado, 500,000 illegal migrants, plus their 300,000 kids and grand-kids . . . would move back home, mostly to Mexico. That would save Coloradans an estimated 2 billion (other experts say 7 billion) annually in taxes that pay for schooling, medical, social-services and incarceration costs. It means 12,000 gang members would vanish out of Denver alone. Colorado would save more than 20 million in prison costs, and the terror those 7,300 alien criminals set upon local citizens. Denver Officer Don Young and hundreds of Colorado victims would not have suffered death, accidents, rapes and other crimes by illegals. Denver Public Schools would not suffer a 67 percent drop-out/flunk out rate because of thousands of illegal alien students speaking 41 different languages. At least 200,000 vehicles would vanish from out gridlocked cities in Colorado. Denver’s four percent unemployment rate would vanish as our working poor would gain jobs at a living wage.

The confusion continues years after the fake column appeared because Tina Griego actually did write a column that looked at the impact of 20 million illegal aliens leaving the U.S. in 2007. Griego explained the situation in yet another column that appeared in the Denver Post:

So, here’s a funny thing. A few years ago, a local man wrote an Internet column. You can find his name on your own if you’re so inclined. He called it, “What if 20 Million Illegal Aliens Vacated America.”

He referenced a column I wrote about a conversation with a visiting Mexican journalist. She asked what would happen if 20 million illegal immigrants returned to Mexico. She was talking about their economic contribution here, the taxes paid, the purchases of goods and services.

This question provoked our local man, prompting him to pen the aforementioned cyber-column.

The parody column claimed that the mass exodus of 20 million illegal aliens would lead to drops in crime rates, prison bookings, gang activity, infectious diseases and even greenhouse gas emissions. Tina Griego responded to a number of those claims in her follow-up column:

Last year, the Denver city/county jail saw 46,884 “book-ins.” A person can be booked-in more than once. I’d like to provide you with an unduplicated head count, but the city doesn’t keep track that way. Dulacki can say that by year’s end, 1,853 jail inmates had been reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as foreign-born. She also can say that from July to December, when the city started keeping track, ICE came for 410 inmates. (Caveat: ICE doesn’t pick up every jailed illegal immigrant for various reasons — higher priorities, resources. It’s been a sore spot.)

The Colorado Department of Corrections website provides a handy monthly inmate report. As of January, 22,910 people were incarcerated in the adult and juvenile systems. Of those, 1,783 were foreign born, and of those, 1,270 had an ICE hold on them. It was a typical month.

I tell you this knowing the argument isn’t really about the numbers. It’s not about the stats or the stories, which we can bend and twist and, if not bound by ethics, fictionalize, to lend credence to our own points of view. We are biased creatures, all too willing to accept that which reinforces our beliefs, and so a man from Arizona forwards the e-mail column with the words: “Somebody really did their homework on this one. Best on the subject to present date.”