Boyles again cited dubious statistic, reading article stating that "[t]welve Americans are murdered every day" by illegal immigrants

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

630 KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles, citing an article published by right-wing news outlet WorldNetDaily, repeated the dubious statistic that illegal immigrants murder 12 Americans every day. However, the article Boyles quoted pointed out that "no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes" committed by illegal immigrants.

On the November 29 broadcast of his 630 KHOW-AM show, host Peter Boyles, reading from a November 28 article posted on the right-wing Internet news outlet WorldNetDaily, repeated the dubious statistic that illegal immigrants murder 12 Americans per day, or 4,380 annually -- a figure that exceeds "the combined death toll of U.S. troops ... in Iraq and Afghanistan." The same article, however, contradicted Boyles' previous assertion that a figure quoted by U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) -- claiming illegal immigrants kill 25 Americans each day -- came from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Colorado Media Matters has noted (here, here, here, and here) that Boyles and a number of his guests have repeated the dubious statistic, attributed to King, that illegal immigrants "kill 25 Americans each day." In May, King claimed in at least two speeches and a press release that illegal immigrants murder 12 Americans each day and kill 13 each day as a result of drunken driving accidents, for a total of 25 deaths per day attributable to illegal immigrants. These are the same numbers reported in the WorldNetDaily article Boyles cited: "There's a report on WorldNetDaily that illegal aliens murder 12, or kill -- kill and/or murder 12 Americans daily. It overshadows the death toll in, of American GIs killed in Iraq and Afghanistan."

From the portion of the November 28 WorldNetDaily article Boyles read on the air:

BOYLES: Dateline: Washington. While the military quagmire in Iraq is said to tip the scales of power in the U.S. midterm elections, most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens -- men, women, and children -- murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegals, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports, and independent research.

Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegals, according to statistics released by Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegals. That's 21,900 since September 11th.

On September 27, Boyles falsely claimed that King's 25-deaths-a-day figure was "a GOA [sic] number," referring to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). But on the October 26 broadcast of Boyles' show, Americans for Legal Immigration president William Gheen modified King's 25-deaths-a-day statistic -- which he apparently had repeated in the past -- saying that "between 12 and 25" Americans are killed each day by illegal immigrants. Gheen acknowledged, however, that "no one really knows how many Americans per day are being killed by aliens and illegal aliens." And he further stated that the figures King used didn't refer exclusively to illegal immigrants: "I came on your show, and I said that according to Congressman Steve King's office in Iowa, that at least 25 Americans per day were being killed by illegal aliens. Come to find out that the study and whatnot it was killed by aliens or immigrants, non-U.S. citizens, at least 25. It wasn't specifically illegal aliens."

Despite Gheen's comments, Boyles repeated the dubious statistic as reported by WorldNetDaily on his November 29 show.

WorldNetDaily cited King as the sole source of the reported estimate, and further compared the estimates to casualties in the war on terror, noting that "[w]hile King reports 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, he says 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers -- for another annual death toll of 4,745. That's 23,725 since Sept. 11, 2001." But, in contrast to Boyles' previous false claim that King's statistics come from a GAO study, WorldNetDaily stated that "no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegal aliens," and that "no one -- in or out of government -- tracks all U.S. accidents caused by illegal aliens." According to the article:

Though no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegal aliens, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports and independent research. [Hyperlink in original.]

[...]

While no one -- in or out of government -- tracks all U.S. accidents caused by illegal aliens, the statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests many of last year's 42,636 road deaths involved illegal aliens.

Indeed, there is no GAO study reporting that 25 Americans per day are killed by illegal immigrants. Rather, King claimed to have "extrapolate[d]" his dubious figure from a GAO study he requested, which according to King showed that 28 percent of inmates in federal, state, and local prisons and jails are "criminal aliens." Colorado Media Matters has reviewed GAO reports addressed to King, as well as figures released by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and has found no support for his assertion that 28 percent of inmates in all prisons and jails are criminal aliens.

One GAO study addressed to King and dated April 7, 2005, did report that about 27 percent of all inmates in federal prisons in 2004 were criminal aliens. The study noted that the 27 percent figure applied to all noncitizens in federal prison -- not just to those in the country illegally. The study did not report on the percentage of state and local inmates that are criminal aliens because, according to the GAO, "there was no reliable population and incarceration cost data on criminal aliens incarcerated in all state prisons and local jails." However, data from the BJS suggest that the percentage of prisoners who are criminal aliens, at least at the federal and state levels, is far lower than King claimed. According to the BJS, 6.4 percent of all state and federal inmates at midyear 2005 were "noncitizens" -- not just illegal immigrants -- down from 6.5 percent in 2004.

Colorado Media Matters has previously explained how King might have arrived at his illegitimate figure.

From the November 29 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

BOYLES: There's a report on WorldNetDaily that illegal aliens murder 12, or kill -- kill and/or murder 12 Americans daily. It overshadows the death toll in, of American GIs killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[...]

BOYLES: Email. And this comes -- he says, "Take a look at the WorldNetDaily -- www.worldnetdaily.com -- "

Dateline: Washington. While the military quagmire in Iraq is said to tip the scales of power in the U.S. midterm elections, most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens -- men, women, and children -- murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although no federal statistics are kept on murders or any other crimes committed by illegals, a number of groups have produced estimates based on data collected from prisons, news reports, and independent research.

Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegals, according to statistics released by Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegals. That's 21,900 since September 11th.

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