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Immigration statistics linked to Los Angeles Times are a hoax

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

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:

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

Comments () | Archives (18)

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I am disgusted at my neighbors for having elderly people living in a tiny garage thats dirty, which they still park their big truck by the way, this older couple maybe in their 7os, have no electricity, no restroom, no air conditioner, no heat. I just wonder how they handle the heat that we have been having, and these cold fall nights. These elder people are the parents of the man that lives in the main house, oh but they splurge on brand new cars but they can't put their parents in proper living space. They are all illegal too. It's amazing how people can do this to their own parents, so sad!! The elder people have so many other children also that just won't help them out either.

I would also like to know the source of this report.the facts were new to me

Amen to you marge we have lost this country to the mexicans and no one sees it everyone is blind these days . why is it a crime to protect our boarders and our country ? What about La raza there slogan we shal overwhelm . Well guess what they have big time . Please open your eyes America and see what is happening .the plague needs to be stopped.

The bleeding hearts have done more damage to California including Hollywood what a bunch of elitist with no clue, if they need medical care they can go anywhere and pay for it. If I an average American who pays big money for my insurance needs to go to the hospital I could very well die before I’m seen and the hospitals are closing because they don't get paid by all the illegal's. I think I will collect welfare and say my husband is not in the home and get myself free housing, oh but wait it’s all already occupied by illegal and I would be on the waiting list that’s two miles long. I think its pretty outrages that in Tijuana you can use food U.S. stamps. I think it's outrages that my $20.00 an hr job after taxes, housing, food, insurance, etc leaves me no better off than if I was an Illegal getting all this free.

To be honest, I'm quite surprised that so many people are against people immigrating to America. No matter how anyone tries, immigration is a part of life. No one can, let alone will, stop immigration from happening.

This would probably be a good time to remember that we're America, quite possibly the strongest, most diverse country in the whole world. Is it really any wonder that people want to come here? Instead of pushing people away, I believe that we should open up and accept these people. If we catch illegals, we should help them get citizenship, not throw them back to what they're trying to escape. Immigration is how America grows, how all countries grow. We should take this time to remember right now that all of us, no matter who we are, descended from an immigrant. The only thing that seperates us from others is contempt. You can laugh at my ideas, or call me a hippie, but that will only mean you acknowledge them.

Overall, I'm quite surprised how many people are being so xenophobic about other people moving here. The best approach is to face immigration and take the good with the bad, as the land of the free and the home of the brave.

they should not be allowed to break the law and live by a different law book than us! If any of us were to go to a country illegally and we got caught think what would happen to us??? what would happen if we went to mexico illegally and got caught?? i will tell you, we would get locked up in some mexican prison probably never to be seen by our families again!

send them all packin!

I have no problem whatsoever with legal immigration. We have laws that allow people from all over the world to apply for citizenship to this country. We have laws that allow for temporary visas, so people from other countries can come here and work, and return to their homeland within the allowed time frame. We grant refugee status to a people who are in danger from their own governments and factions. The danger to our democracy, is in allowing one group of potential voters to dominate in the polls, whereby they eventually can overturn existing laws to benefit themselves, their culture and ethnicity, at the expense of the rest of the population. The melting pot makes sense to me, but, if we put too much pepper in the pot, well,,,,,,,,,you know what the results will be.

If the statistics were bogus, LA Times should publish true stats as real informative news for the public.

So many people with opinions not supported by facts. And many of you are supporting other web sites and the statistics they proport but have no footnoted sources. And worse, the opinions about the Snopes site are opinions prior to reading the text.

I suggest opinions after you read the text of all sites and then check the facts.

If you simply Google "federal statistics on illegal aliens in federal prisions" you'll get the statistic.

And as a retired member of the LAPD I know they don't not release Dept of Justice statistics because we don't have anyone assigned to this task. But if you do Google this you'd find that the State of CA does release these numbers and they are far lower than those numbers in the articles.

And one small comment about Illegals in Garages...if we paid illegal aliens a fair wage for their work they would be able to afford nicer quarters.

It's sad we allow Canadian free access to our economy but ignore our southern neighbors...especially those who once owned the very property we stole fro them.

Here's a great Google topic...."Manifest Destiny". Look it up before you complain about immigration topics!

Mark, my are wholey ignorant.

How can you dismiss the reconquista...

you haven't seen evidence because you choose not too.

Fabian Nunez gave the keynote address to a group that marched on washington declaring aztlan...that would be the highest ranking democrat in the state.

the mexican govt is pretty certain their taking california back...

...and try working in a kitchen....those 'hard workers' are the real haters.....and have definite plans to keep spanish alive and well

Since the county of San Bernardino started working with ICE to identify illegal alien criminals in their jails in 2006, 7,000 criminal aliens have been turned over for deportation. 7,000 in 2 years. From one county. That's a lot of criminals. It's even a lot more victims. Has the Times covered that story?

Bettybb, If these are facts you just stated, then please state your sources. Especially for the Houston statistic on babies.

Half of these comments were made by the same misinformed sheeple that created the hoax numbers. I pray for a day when real conversations with real numbers can happen. I guess when all of the hate mongers quit surfing the internet for articles to place their lies in, and quit quoting fearmonger groups like NumbersUSA. "Even Numbers USA, the organization that tries the hardest to separate race from their discussion of immigration, has ties to white supremacy. The executive director of Numbers USA, Roy Beck, for a time was the Washington editor of the Social Contract Press, an organization that is proud to publish the racist book, Camp of the Saints." There's a fact for you.

We are sickened by all these illegal alien criminals who are raping this country blind in consumption of services paid for by American taxpayers. They have no problem popping out anchor babies and receiving medi cal and countless other benefits. The country is going broke people. The third world is pouring into this country and no one seems to care that we are totally losing our sovereignty, our language and our culture. Most americans dont like living 16 people to an apartment or garage with vehicles all of the place. Most Americans dont use the Emergency rooms for their primary care needs. All illegal aliens are criminals and not only should they be immediately deported but their governments should be billed for all of the costs of these foreign nationals included education, health care, etc. That includes subtracting all of the "aid money" that we send these corrupt nations. Out with the aliens. Wake up and see what is happening. Enforce the current laws and stop making excuses that these are "God's children". Good grief! They can still be Gods children in their own countries and pop out babies that they can't afford in their own homelands. Shame on these people and those who enable and excuse their continued presence in this country.

Thanks for providing the link to Snopes. Snopes does not dispute these statistics. They claim the status is "Multiple" because they are mostly correct.

Thanks for the links to Snopes. I'm very hawkish about control and enforcement of immigration, including border security. But the racists and fear-mongers really turn my stomach. They are a poison to the debate in addition to being sick individuals.

Immigration reform is a serious issue that confronts us and we need facts and clear thinking if we are going to solve the problem. The twisted haters offer only lies and hysteria, much like anti-immigrant movements of the past.

Another sick lie with currency among the bigots is that there is a real "reconquista" movement underway. I've not seen any evidence of there being a serious political movement to "take back" the Southwest U.S., just a few scattered crackpots with websites. I even suspect that some of these sites are actually created by the bigots themselves, to stir up fear and indignation.

Most of the biased press will never reveal this information to you?
For those people who keep insisting that illegal aliens do not receive any federal free handouts.
Our government already skims quietly of your wage packet 356 billion dollars to support illegal low income workers annually. However this is just a small portion of the enormous cost, that has been going on behind your backs for decades.This doesn't include education, free health care or prison services and much more not listed.
You wont believe this:
If your sick of it, DEMAND your Democrats enorse the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R. 4088) You decide here: NUMBERSUSA

I don't know if all these numbers have been published in the LA Times, but I have read several of them in numerous different articles in different papers, blogs etc.

About the garages. The LA Times does use the term iillegal immigrant, hence the presumpion they are illegal, unless the Times says they are legal.

The 95% of outstanding arrest warrants being for illegals has appeared in many newspapers saying the figure comes from the LAPD.

There is a national estimate of 30% of prisoners being illegal in a study, but we don't have a figure for all of Californai. The politiicans refuse to do the count. The last count done was for all foreign people in jail - the reason for the broadere category is so Americans cannot find out how many illegals there are.

There is also a national study that say 40% of illegals are not paying taxes. Whether it is true for LA I don't know.

I don;t know the number of taxpayer paid for births for illegals, but in Houston 60% of the babies born are to non paying illegals.


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