On consecutive broadcasts, Boyles and guests repeated dubious statistic that illegal immigrants "kill 25 Americans every single day"

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Consecutive broadcasts of KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show featured anti-illegal immigration guests who repeated the dubious claim that illegal immigrants "kill 25 Americans every single day."

Consecutive broadcasts of KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show featured anti-illegal immigration guests who repeated the dubious claim that illegal immigrants "kill 25 Americans every single day."

On the September 26 broadcast, anti-illegal immigration activist Frosty Wooldridge highlighted a dubious statistic to claim that illegal immigrants "kill 25 Americans every single day of the year." The following day, on the September 27 broadcast, Clyde Harkins, the American Constitution Party candidate for Colorado governor, repeated the same statistic, claiming, "13 Americans are killed each day by illegals, and 12 are murdered." Apparently agreeing with Harkins, Boyles falsely claimed, "it's a GOA [sic] number." In fact, while Rep. Steve King (R-IA) misleadingly "extrapolated" figures from an April 2005 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study to formulate the questionable statistic regarding the number of deaths caused by illegal immigrants, the GAO report itself makes no such claim. The study shows that "noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally" comprise approximately 27 percent of the United States federal prison population.

As Colorado Media Matters previously noted, King's figures are dubious because he generalized the GAO study's 27 percent figure despite the fact that it reported accurate numbers only for the federal prison population, which comprises less than 10 percent of the U.S. prison population, and not for state or local prison populations. Furthermore, like King, Wooldridge and Harkins claimed the figure applied only to "illegal" immigrants, whereas the GAO study reported the percentage of federal prisoners who were "noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally." *

Wooldridge is the author of the 2004 book Immigration's Unarmed Invasion and a participant in the "21st Century Paul Revere Ride of 2006" -- described on the organizer's website as a "summer-long cross-country motorcycle ride that visited all of the lower 48 state capitols to inform the public and their elected public servants of the severity of the illegal immigration crisis."

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, in a September 5, 2003, letter to the editor about immigration published in The Washington Times, Wooldridge falsely claimed that "7,000 new cases of leprosy in three years ... have crossed over from Mexico, India and Brazil."

Clyde Harkins is running for governor of Colorado as the American Constitution Party candidate. According to his campaign website, "Colorado needs a Governor who will stand up for the Biblical World View in the public square and alert citizens of the Globalists' plan to destroy the lives, liberty and property of Colorado's citizenry."

The Rocky Mountain News also reported on August 12 that during Colorado's first gubernatorial debate, "Harkins, in talking about illegal immigration, said he hasn't heard Gov. Bill Owens say whether he is against merging with Mexico and Canada."

Wooldridge made his dubious assertions regarding illegal immigrants and crime during a September 26 discussion with Boyles about the so-called "Mexican invasion" of the United States. According to Wooldridge:

WOOLDRIDGE: The fact is, we've got all of these millions of illegals. They're touching negatively all of our lives in so many situations. Again, illegal aliens in this country, now numbering between 12 and 20 million, kill 25 Americans every single day of the year. And that, that is never reported.

BOYLES: Where's the source of the -- where does your number come from?

WOOLDRIDGE: U.S. congressman Steve King --

BOYLES: That's right, it was --

WOOLDRIDGE: -- spoke that right in front of me, and he brought -- it's from the GAO account of 2005 -- Government Accounting Offices [sic], gave the facts and figures on that. It's 13 Americans are killed by drunken Mexican drivers every day on our highways, and 12 are killed by outright violence of gun or knife or some other kind of violence on American citizens. In other words, we get, more Americans citizens are in greater danger for their lives than American troops are in the war zone of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Harkins repeated the same questionable statistic regarding the number of deaths caused by illegal immigrants the following day, after which Boyles attributed the figure to the same GAO study cited by Wooldridge.

HARKINS: Well you know, I think on the Internet, Peter, you can go and find the following -- I don't know which representative it was -- but I believe he has collected data, probably from the national crime bureau, part of the FBI Department of Justice, but I believe he said -- and I heard him on some program I didn't catch his name, I'm sorry -- 13 Americans are killed each day by --

BOYLES: Oh no, that's -- yeah --

HARKINS: -- illegals, and 12 are murdered. So you take 25, you multiply it by three --

BOYLES: It's a, it's a --

HARKINS: -- it's 9,000 people. It's three 9-11s.

BOYLES: It's G -- it's government -- it's GOA [sic], and it's their numbers, if anybody's looking for them. People get all upset about numbers, but it's a GOA [sic] number.

However, the figures Wooldridge and Harkins cited are dubious. The GAO study on which Rep. King based his findings reported only the percentage of criminal aliens in federal prisons, which held at 27 percent from 2001 to 2004. It did not include the percentage of criminal aliens in state or local prisons, instead reporting that "there was no reliable population and incarceration cost data on criminal aliens incarcerated in all state prisons and local jails." Apparently, King assumed the 27 percent figure (which he apparently remembered as 28 percent), which applies only to the federal prison population, held for "the cities, the counties, [and] the state ... penitentiaries" as well.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the federal prison population in 2002 was 7.5 percent of the total U.S. prison population (defining U.S. prison population as the number of people incarcerated in federal, state, and local adult prisons), and in 2003 it was 8.3 percent. King generalized the GAO study's 27 percent figure despite the fact that it reported accurate numbers for only 7.5 percent to 8.3 percent of the U.S. prison population.

Furthermore, the GAO study did not break down federally incarcerated criminal aliens by specific criminal offenses. But King took U.S. crime statistics on first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide across the entire justice system and concluded 28 percent of each crime is committed by criminal aliens against Americans.

Wooldridge and Harkins claimed that "illegal aliens . . . kill 25 Americans every single day of the year." But the GAO study reported the percentage of federal prisoners who were "noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally." **

Later in the September 26 broadcast, Wooldridge stated that "we have 20 million illegal aliens in this country [that] are operating with corruption level" that is "endemic or systemic to the entire Mexican culture." According to Wooldridge:

WOOLDRIDGE: And now that we have 20 million illegal aliens in this country, they are operating with a corruption level, of inculcation of corruption within their own beings, that -- that's how they operated in Mexico, because there's so many bribes, there's so much -- I mean, everybody runs a red light in Mexico. No one gets stopped or caught for it. The kind of crime that's going on in Mexico is endemic or systemic of the entire Mexican culture. Now that you've got 10 million illegal-alien Mexicans in the United States of America, it's now affecting all aspects of our legal system.

Wooldridge's and Harkins's comments echoed previous Boyles guest Jason Mrochek, co-founder of the Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement (F.I.R.E.) Coalition. Mrochek also claimed on the September 8 broadcast of The Peter Boyles Show that "25 Americans every single day are killed by illegal aliens. And that breaks out to 12 by, like, first- and second-degree murder, and then 13 every day by, you know, illegal aliens driving drunk and uninsured and things like that."

From the September 26 broadcast of KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

WOOLDRIDGE: Peter, it's almost like it's a cartel of the media doing this 21st-century silent assertion in favor of illegality. In favor of this Mexican invasion of our country. The fact is, we've got all of these millions of illegals. They're touching negatively all of our lives in so many situations. Again, illegal aliens in this country, now numbering between 12 and 20 million, kill 25 Americans every single day of the year. And that, that is never reported.

BOYLES: Where's the source of the -- where does your number come from?

WOOLDRIDGE: U.S. Congressman Steve King --.

BOYLES: That's right, it was --

WOOLDRIDGE: -- spoke that right in front of me, and he brought -- it's from the GAO account of 2005 -- Government Accounting Offices [sic], gave the facts and figures on that. It's 13 Americans are killed by drunken Mexican drivers every day on our highways, and 12 are killed by outright violence of gun or knife or some other kind of violence on American citizens. In other words, we get, more Americans citizens are in greater danger for their lives than American troops are in the war zone of Iraq or Afghanistan. And yet you won't hear [The Denver Post's Jim] Spencer, you won't hear [the Rocky Mountain News' Mike] Littwin, you won't hear [The Denver Post's Diane] Carman -- you'll hear none of the reporting on that.

[...]

WOOLDRIDGE: And I think this is an important statement. Corruption becomes a mechanism by which Third World countries operate. And now that we have 20 million illegal aliens in this country, they are operating with a corruption level of, inculcation of corruption within their own beings, that -- that's how they operated in Mexico, because there's so many bribes, there's so much -- everybody runs a red light in Mexico. No one gets stopped or caught for it. The kind of crime that's going on in Mexico is endemic or systemic to the entire Mexican culture. Now that you've got 10 million illegal-alien Mexicans in the United States of America, it's now affecting all aspects of our legal system.

From the September 27 broadcast of KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

HARKINS: Well you know, I think on the Internet, Peter, you can go and find the following -- I don't know which representative it was -- but I believe he has collected data, probably from the national crime bureau, part of the FBI Department of Justice, but I believe he said -- and I heard him on some program, I didn't catch his name, I'm sorry -- 13 Americans are killed each day by --

BOYLES: Oh no, that's -- yeah --

HARKINS: -- illegals, and 12 are murdered. So you take 25, you multiply it by three --

BOYLES: It's a, it's a --

HARKINS: -- it's 9,000 people. It's three 9-11s.

BOYLES: It's G -- it's government -- it's GOA [sic], and it's their numbers, and if anybody's looking for them. People get all upset about numbers, but it's a GOA [sic] number. I don't know. I mean, I come to this point, we're here at our break. You know, there is that line of a "snowball's chance in hell," which of course you got.

HARKINS: Well, that's true, but, you know, on the illegal-immigration issue, actually Bob Beauprez has about as much chance of finding an illegal in his bag --

BOYLES: No, I agree --

HARKINS: -- they all couldn't speak English. And I think Bill Ritter has about as much chance of his whole staff couldn't speak English and had phony documents. Neither one of them are going to find illegal immigration, and that's not why they're going to talk about it tonight or whenever.

BOYLES: No, I totally agree.

Correction: 

* This item originally stated, "Furthermore, the citation by Wooldridge and Harkins of King's misleading statistic was doubly erroneous because Wooldridge and Harkins applied it only to 'illegal' immigrants, whereas King and the GAO study reported on 'noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally.' "

The GAO study did report on the percentage of federal prisoners who were "noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally." However, while King said in a May 27, 2006, speech that the GAO study "shows 28 percent are criminal aliens," he also claimed the figure applied specifically to illegal immigrants rather than to both legal and illegal immigrants. He asserted, "[I]f you extrapolate that across the crimes that are committed, between first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter -- willful, violent, death -- that number comes to, on average, 12 Americans a day die at the hands of those who come into this country that, if we'd enforced our borders, would not be here to commit the crime. That's the violent ones. That's the willful ones. There's another 13 every day that die in a wreck because of negligent homicide, because of victims of drunk drivers who should not be here in this country."

** Correction: This item originally stated, "Wooldridge and Harkins further distorted King's already dubious argument by claiming that 'illegal aliens . . . kill 25 Americans every single day of the year.' But King and the GAO study reported on 'noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally.' "
Colorado Media Matters regrets the error.

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