95% of L.A. murder warrants are for illegal aliens???

On assorted blogs in the last few days I’ve seen some figures relating to illegal immigrants that seem unrealistic, skewed, or just plain bogus. While my search for the source of these statistics hasn’t been exhaustive, so far I’ve just found these repeated and recited on a number of right wing “news” sites and anti-illegal-immigrant blogs, adding to my skepticism.

According to San Diego talk radio host Rick Roberts, the following stats (which Roberts refers to as facts… and there is a difference) come from the Los Angeles Times… although he doesn’t provide any specific citation:

-95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
-75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
-Over 2/3’s of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
-The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.

I’m posting more after the jump – but for now I wanted to find out if any readers can backup or dispute these figures with a proper source or citation. For now these seem just a bit sketchy.

UPDATED: Don Hosek of LA Stories directs me to the ever useful Snopes.com which has looked into the issue and come to a similar conclusion as I did: there is no verifiable source of the statistics in most cases, and in others they are taken completely out of context or just made up. If any readers can provide any more info it would be appreciated…
UPDATE #2: Matt Welch of the L.A. Times says this is a hoax, and that the paper will be reporting on it…

More Rick Roberts “facts”:

-40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.
-Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
-Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
-Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
-21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.
-In L.A.County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in L.A.County).

(hat tip to Reverse_Vampyr)

16 Replies to “95% of L.A. murder warrants are for illegal aliens???”

  1. David – I think the only thing that the LAPD most wanted list does is show that it’s not easy to disprove Rick Roberts “facts” because so many of the names on the list are non-anglo.

  2. Markland, don’t stick your head in the sand. 8 of the 10 most wanted are clearly hispanic. Being hispanic certainly doesn’t imply that you are an illegal immigrant (or even an immigrant at all), but on the other hand, 99% of illegal immigrants here are hispanic.

    However, the relevant point I was originally going to make here is that we’ll never know what percent of crimes are committed by illegal aliens, since the LAPD is prohibited from even asking what someone’s residency status is. Kind of a catch-22.

  3. David,

    The conclusion that I come to is that there are a hell of a lot of people of Hispanic origin on that list. Nothing more. I don’t have enough data on the people on the list or first hand knowledge of the practices of the LAPD to determine if these are illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, second or third generation, fairly/unfairly targeted by the police or anything else.

    To Sam’s point above, yes, Special Order 40 prevents the LAPD from asking about the immigration status, though the Costa Mesa Sheriff’s department will not be following LA’s lead fairly soon. They’ve already started training some of their personnel in immigration law enforcement.

    We may start seeing some useful data from the OC, sometime in the next few years. As to LA, I think the best that can be done is to pull together hearsay and conjecture from the people doing the arrests. Just because they aren’t supposed to ask, doesn’t mean they always follow that rule.

  4. Matt:
    Thanks. I do think it would be nice to see actual figures, if they are available.
    Cybele:
    You can’t prove a negative. The LAPD list doesn’t prove or disprove the assertion, but pointing to it casually supports the prejudice that any hispanic in LA is an illegal.
    Sam:
    Most terrorists are Muslim. This doesn’t mean we should suspect that any Muslim is a terrorist. Prejudice is prejudice, regardless of intention.
    But you’re right about it being difficult to get these stats, and I would support allowing them to ask so long as the question is fairly applied and people aren’t targeted because they “look like illegals”.

  5. I live in LA and believe me, most of them ARE illegals. Don’t turn your head and play the race-card. Most of you either a) Live in “good” neighborhoods and are not affected, or b) Are part of the problem leeching off the government. Enough is enough…..

    By the way, many if not most of LAPD’s most wanted list dates back to many years ago. The reason? They kill and left to there home country where Mexico will gladly harbor a Mexican citizen.

  6. If you choose to look at these facts from a city that is mostly made up of hispanics than you are going to get a high number of hispanics. If you choose another city, say Omaha Nebraska, you will get a high rate of crime from anglos. Why ? because they live there!

    It is ridiculous to look at LA and not think that there are a huge number of hispanics.

    America seems to forget that everyone here is an immigrant. Unless you are a native american you are no better than anyone else.

    So the next time you men drool at Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and that Gilmore girl! Thank a sexy latina woman!

    http://www.audaciouslady.com

  7. Actually 65% of most wanted for murder are hispanic. (Unable to verify if legal or illegal). Source: LA County Sherriff Website.

  8. Mark:
    Their “report” use the same unsourced figures that are in dispute and that have no evidence to back them up. This is a very good reason not to trust Fox News’ reporting.
    I also don’t buy the argument that Mexicans do the work that Americans won’t do… buts thats an entirely different subject than the one we’re discussing here wherein people pass of false figures as facts to not only forward their agenda, but also to paint Mexicans as being more prone to violent crime.

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