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Immigration statistics linked to Los Angeles Times are a hoax

July 25, 2008 |  2:39 pm

We have received some responses to our post this morning about illegal immigration numbers that quote different figures -- figures that allegedly come from the Los Angeles Times.

Some examples of those figures:

1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County ( L.A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on  Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.

Those figures are a hoax, which you can read about here on Snopes.com.

No article has appeared in The Times with this list. And some of these "facts" appear to have been misleadingly edited from articles that appeared in the L.A. Times as many as 20 years ago and are now being cited inappropriately. When this Internet rumor started last year, The Times' opinion website looked into this hoax; here is the link to what they found:

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2007/02/some_memes_neve.html

One example of the innacuracies is the claim that a Times story reported that "Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages." This appears to misquote information from a May 24, 1987, article about the number of people living in garages in Los Angeles County. It reported that, at that time, about 42,000 garages were sheltering about 200,000 immigrants in L.A. County. That article provided detailed information explaining how the figures were arrived at, but it did not allude to anyone's residency status.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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