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Thursday, December 9, 2010
WND's Farah's Scary Anti-Immigrant Attack Misfires
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah hurls a load of hooey at the DREAM Act in his Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily column -- much of it misleading or outright false.

Farah begins by claiming the "so-called" DREAM Act is "providing ... amnesty" to the children of "illegal aliens." First, it's not the "so-called" DREAM Act; it is called the DREAM Act. Second, it's not amnesty. As conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin explains, "amnesty" is defined as "a blanket abolition of an offense by the government, with the legal result that those charged or convicted have the charge or conviction wiped out." Since there are conditions placed on who is eligible for the DREAM Act and what must be done before any steps toward citizenship are granted, it cannot be amnesty.

Next, Farah lists various crimes committed by illegal aliens -- none of which he makes any effort to prove are affected any way by passage of the DREAM Act.

Then Farah claims that "federal statistics don't lie. They say 55 percent of the inmate population in U.S. prisons is made up of illegal aliens. That suggests to me that more than half of the serious crimes committed in this country are committed by illegal aliens."

Farah didn't provide the source for his "federal statistics" -- perhaps because he is apparently making it up. According to PolitiFact Wisconsin, "73.4 percent of the federal inmates are U.S. citizens, and that more than 26 percent are not citizens." But being a non-citizen does not necessarily equate to being illegal, meaning that the actual federal prision population made up of "illegal aliens" is even less.

Farah is even more wrong when state-level prison populations are considered. In Arizona, which has a reputation as a hotbed of illegal immigration, undocumented immigrants represented 14.8 percent of Arizona state prisoners. Similarly, in California, just 11 percent of the state prison population is undocumented.

Getting facts completely wrong is not the sign of a persuasive argument.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST

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