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Thursday, October 25, 2007
CNS Again Misleads on CLEAR Act

Yesterday, we noted how's Kevin Mooney presented a one-sided view of an immigration-related bill, refusing to talk to anyone on the other side of the story to give them an opportunity to counter the claims made by conservative activists. Mooney does pretty much the same thing in an Oct. 25 CNS article featuring a "report" by Daryl Metcalfe, a Pennsylvania state legislator, purporting to demonstrate how "[r]ape, kidnapping, drug smuggling, assault, burglary, murder, and fraud convictions have been imposed on illegal aliens found to be residing throughout Pennsylvania."

That "report," though, is little more than an anti-immigrant screed, featuring anecdotes of crimes committed by illegal immigrants with no effort at statistical research or any other purpose than to be alarmist. For instance, it repeats a claim by right-wing site Family Security Matters that "the estimated 2,158 murders committed by illegal aliens every year in the United States has now killed more American citizens than the Iraq war." This echoes Rep. Steve King's demonstrably false assertion that 12 Americans are murdered every day by illegal immigrants. And even FSM admits its numbers are based on a series of assumptions and extrapolations not necessarily supported by actual hard data.

Of course, comparing raw numbers of alleged deaths is highly misleading because the soldiers' deaths are taken from a much smaller population -- roughly 200,000 U.S. personnel on duty there, vs. roughly 300 million people in the U.S. -- so the soldiers' death rate is much higher than even FSM's alarmist numbers.

One of our favorite misinformers shows up in Metcalfe's report as well: Several claims are credited to former WorldNetDaily writer Jon Dougherty, credited as "author of the best-selling book, Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed By Our Unsecured Borders." By what measure was Dougherty's book "best-selling"?

As he did the day before, Mooney incompletely reports on the CLEAR Act, which would give local officials authority in enforcing federal immigration laws. Mooney failed to note (as we did) that there is conservative opposition to the CLEAR Act.

Further, in noting the National Council on La Raza's opposition to the CLEAR Act, Mooney apparently took that information only from La Raza's website and made no apparent effort to talk to La Raza -- or any other opponent of the CLEAR Act or other anti-immigration measures -- in person. By contrast, Mooney noted that two other sources for his article, Metcalfe and Steve Camerota of the anti-immigration group Center for Immigration Studies, "told Cybercast News Service" their statements.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EDT

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