badly overdue
*edit* I've removed some text for clarity. And because it has a friend's email in it and apparently not everyone has a decent spam blocker. *edit*
So back in April, I was griping about some stuff, and the fiance of one of my best friends (Eva Schiffer) ended up doing a bunch of research for me in reply to a post I had made hoping that I'd get a bunch of people each doing a little bit of research. Life being what it is, I never ended up writing the blog post that was supposed to come from my original post, and Alan's work has been sitting there in my inbox not being shown to the world. This is sort of really embarrassing (pretty much like my non-finishing of my Obama rally writeup. I'm bad at this blogging thing apparently.) So, here is the text of his email with all of his effort in print. I'm sorry it took this long to get back to it (though the issues are pretty eternal in American Politics, so at least it is still timely. Note that I disagree with a few of his points and positions, but not enough and not strongly enough to further delay posting this to point them out.

Begin Alan's Email
Hello unknown person!

I'm valleyviolet's fiance. She passed this on to me by email
after I noticed her reading it and getting annoyed. It annoys me
even more, and I just can't let someone be wrong on the internet!
( )

It looks like a bunch of the links were trashed at some point;
possibly after it was copied to me. I fixed the ones I could,
since the citations are so important.

If you repost with some of my suggestions, I'd dig some credit.
I'm Alan De Smet , and would love a link to my web site
( or if you prefer my
LiveJournal (

Two other promising sources of informatin:

It's pretty clear that this is just a bunch of different email
screeds that have been forwarded all over. Your friend (or
someone else) pasted them together and turned them into a blog
post. They clearly didn't check the citations, or they would
have found many of them lacking.

The first thing I notice is how few and unreliable the sources
are. Lou Dobbs Tonight get cited frequently. However Lou Dobbs
has a strongly anti-illegal immigrant stance, and it influences
his show's reporting. This wouln't be a problem, so long as he
cited his sources; but usually he doesn't. If we don't know
where Dobbs is getting his information, and he has incentive to
mislead, why should we trust them?

CIS: Also frequently cited is the Center for Immigration Studies,
another group with a strong agenda. A few highlights from the
report cited, if you look beyond the executive summary:

"This method is based on some well-established facts about the
characteristics of the illegal population. For example, it is
well known that illegals are disproportionately male, unmarried,
under age 40, have few years of schooling, etc. Thus, we assign
probabilities to these and other factors in order to select the
likely illegal population."

So apparently if you're a single 25-year-old male with "few years
of schooling," you're probablly an illegal immigrant. I'm
oversimpifying, but the core idea stands: they're guessing at the
illegal immigrant population. Any results they come to are
build on those fundamental guesses. If they're wrong, it will
damage every other result.

> It is really disturbing to find that on old friend who, while
> holding a fundamentally different world view from you, you
> always felt to be a good person turns out to be a fairly
> mainline racist.

To be fair, I think it's possible to be anti-illegal immigrant,
and even anti-immigrant without being racist.

> Part 1
> In just one year.
> Remember the election in 2006?
> Thought you might like to read the following:
> A little over one year ago:
> 1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;

Wow, gosh, 2.5 years. I remember 2003/2004 so well; it was such
a great time. Or, let's look to reality: Consumer confidence was
still down, way down, from the late 90s. A graph from 1997 to

> 2) Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;
> 3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.
> Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:
> 1) Consumer confidence plummet;

This is largely impacted by the later points, so this is just
weaseling anoher

> 2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;

And what exactly does Congress (or even the President) have to do
with the price of gasoline? Their only direct impact is the gas
tax, which is a measely $0.184 per gallon, and hasn't changed in

> 3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);

We of course mention the 10% increase, because an increase from
4.5 to 5.0 is hard to appreciate.

Also, let's check the historical data:
Would you look at that, a huge spike from about 4.5 to _5.5_,
just as Bush came into office, almost all of that before 9/11!
This was back when the Republicans controlled the Congress.

> 4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value
> evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);

There was a stock market bubble: companies were wildly
overvalued, largely because of fraud, deception, and
incompetance. This didn't spring up in the last year; it's a
problem decades in the making. What exactly would you have any
Congress do to fix it?

> 5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;
> 6) 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.

These two things are directly links, and remain out of Congresses
control. House prices were inflated because of a bubble.
Foreclosures are spiking because people bought houses they
couldn't afford. Both are problems that took years to build up.
What would you have Congress do? Perhaps pass a law requiring
the government to oversee mortgages, and deny them for high risk
borrowers, even if a bank is willing to make the loan? Do you
really want more government interference here? (I do, but I'm a
liberal. If you're voting out Democrats, you're going to get
anti-government Republicans.)

> America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!
> Remember it's Congress that makes law not the President. He has to work with
> what's handed to him.

The Republican party has had a decade in control of Congress. To
the extent that Congress is to blame (and for much of this, they
aren't), the Republicans from 1995 to 2005 are.

As for "he has to work with what's handed to him",
hahahahahahaha. He was "handed" laws that said no spying on
Americans without a warrent from FISA court, but ignored it.
Also check out the many signing statements he's used to sign
something into law, but simultaneously say, "Unless I don't want

> Taxes...Whether Democrat or a Republican you will find these statistics
> enlightening and amazing.
> www. taxfoundation. org/publications/show/151.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Check out the citation! "Note: If you clicked
on this link in response to an e-mail, blog post, or message
board comparing income taxes under Presidents Clinton and Bush,
please see this page:"

On to that page: "Recently an _incorrect_ comparison of income
taxes under Presidents Clinton and Bush has been making the
rounds of the internet, showing up in forwarded e-mails and on
numerous blogs and message boards." (Emphasis mine)

There is a corrected tax table on that page, and while it does
agree that taxes under the 2008 tax law are lower, it's not quit
as mind bogglingly large of a difference.

> Both democratic candidates will return to the higher tax rates

Erm, yes? Because we're spending _way_ more than we're taking in
and are running up record debts.

> It is amazing how many people that fall into the categories above think Bush
> is screwing them and Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever.

If taxes paid were the only issue (ignoring the war in Iraq, the
national debt, civil liberties, and more), yes, Bush is a great
president. Perhaps people think Clinton was good because taxes
may have been higher, but we was fiscally responsible; while Bush
is spending money like a drunken sailor.

> PART 3:
> 1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each
> year by state governments.
> Verify at:

Corrected link:

The quote is simply wrong. "Each year, state governments spend an
estimated $11 billion to $22 billion to provide welfare to
immigrants." Note, "immigrants," not "illegal immigrants."
We're including "Refugees, asylees, and all amnestied illegal
aliens," basically people who are legally here.

Also note that these numbers includes "immigrant families [who]
get welfare through the eligibility of their U.S. citizen
children." This is money targeting citizens.

> 2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as
> food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
> Verify at:

Double dipping to make things look scarier. This isn't $2.2B on
top of the $22B above, it's _part of_ the $22B.

CIS source.

> 3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
> Verify at:

Double dipping again.

> 4.
> $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school
> education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of
> English!
> Verify at:

The correct link is

> 5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born
> children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
> Verify at

For both points 4 and 5, this claim comes from the Federation for
American Immigration Reform, and anti-illegal immigrant
organization. Here's the quote: "CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN
CORRESPONDENT: ... The Federation for American Immigration Reform
says taxpayers spend $12 billion a year on primary and secondary
school education for children here illegally. Another $17 billion
for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor
babies." Where did FAIR get these numbers? Why not link to
those so we can determine how good these numbers are? Probably
because a link to CNN looks more reputable than to an overtly
biased organization.

Also, there is another term for "anchor babies": American
citizens. Like it or not, as the law currently stands, these are
American citizens. In all likelyhood, they're going to stay in
the US when they grow up, and I'd sure as hell prefer that they
have at least a high school education if that's the case.

> 6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
> Verify at: http://transcripts.
> cnn. com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt. 01.
> html

(That's $1.1B, by the way. Why not list it as a yearly total?
Probably because $3M/day sounds bigger than $1.1B/year.)

> 7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
> Verify at: http://transcripts.
> cnn. com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt. 01.
> html

This appears to be a legit CNN statement, but it's simply
attributed to "the Federal Bureau of Prisons." I'm unable to
track down the upstream data source. I can, however, find this:

"State and Federal correctional authorities held 91,117
noncitizens (6.4% of all prisoners), down from 91,815 at midyear
2004." from the Prisond an Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005.

"State and Federal prisons held 91,426 noncitizens on June
30, 2006..." Prison and Jail Inmates at Miyear 2006 (most recent

That the numbers above include for some states include
prisoners who are foreign born, but are US citizens, so the
number is slightly, but probably negligably, inflated.

> 8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare &
> social services by the American taxpayers.
> Verify at:
Fixed link:

Way back at point 1, we were getting charged up to $22B for
welfare. Now up to $90B! These illegal immigrants get more an
more expensive, the more I read! By the end of the email, will
it run a trillion?

Anyway, what's the real source?
"ROBERT RECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, assuming that we have
about 11 million immigrants in the U.S., the net cost or the
total cost of services and benefits provided to them, education,
welfare, general social services would be about $90 billion a
year, and they would pay very little in taxes."

_Assuming_ 11 million illegal immigrants. And they're running us
$8,000 a piece? Impressive, and unlikely. And ultimately, he's
a mouthpiece for an overtly anti-illegal immigrant organization.
What is his source, and why do we trust it?

> 9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by
> the illegal aliens.
> Verify at:

"DOBBS: That economy, we know the estimates by the most authoritative
and recent study put the suppressed wages at $200 billion a year,
as a result of immigration, both legal and illegal."

- _both legal and illegal_, so the claim is simply unsupported by
the citations.

- It's said by Dobbs, who has a strong anti-illegal immigrant

- What study? Who did it? When?

> 10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and
> a half times that of white non-illegal aliens.
> In particular,
> their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US
> Verify at:

Nice trick. It's two and a half times that of _white_
non-illegal aliens. Why the distinction? Probably because
crimes rights are very, very highly correlated with poverty. And
whites, as a whole, are better off than other minorities.
They're comparing a group that is better off on average against a
group that is worse off on average.

Again, who said it, and what is their basis?

"RECTOR: I think there's a lot that you simply can't say here.
I'll say another thing that can't be said here, which is the fact
that Hispanics in the United States have a crime rate that's two
and a half times that of white non-Hispanics...."

It's our old, unreliable friend Robert Rector from the Heritage
Foundation again! Again, no source for the information, it's
possible he just made it up. And again the citation doesn't
match the claim. The claim says "illegal aliens." Rector
isn't comparing legal to illegal; he's comparing Hispanics to

> 11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that
> crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from
> Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and
> marijuana, crossed into the U. S from the Southern border.
> Verify at: Homeland Security Report:

There is some sort of vague insinuation here, but it's not clear.
Maybe those 19,500 illegal aliens were fleeing the "Terrorist
Countries" in a desperate attempt to escape the terror. Also,
what the hell is a Terrorist Country? Also, do you think the
drug trade is entirely based on illegal aliens? Compared to
illegal immigration, the drug trade is a frighteningly well oiled
business machine. Sure they use illegal immigrants, but they use
lots of techniques to smuggle drugs in. Illegal immigrants have
the disadvantage of being unreliable and uncertain. And to
smuggle the large quantities needed for low value drugs like
marijuana, you need more than just a few guys walking over the
border; it's being done by major transport: truck, ship,
airplane, and has little to nothing to do with illegal

> 12.
> The National Policy Institute, "estimated that the total cost of mass
> deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average
> cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.
> "
> Verify at: http://www.
> nationalpolicyinstitute. org/pdf/deportation.
> pdf

And your point is what, exactly? Yes, it would be very, very
expensive to deport even a large chunk of the illegal immigrants
in the US. That's part of why it's not realistically being

There is nothing to refute here, since there isn't really a

> 13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back to
> their countries of origin.
> Verify at:

So what? They earned the money, can't they send it home? This
is hardly theft or taking our money. We voluntarily sent $38B to
China in 2008.
( )

Also, check out that awesome citation. The citation consists
of... a copy of this list of claims! It's just some random
dude's web site. Fortunately Frosty offers a citation himself,
off to the Contra Costa Times. Unfortunately the article now
offline, so we have nothing, no citation at all. For all we
know, it may have said it was $45M, $45K, or just a shiny nickel.

> 14. "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes
> Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States."
> Verify at: http://www. > drdsk.> com/articleshtml

Fixed link:

The source is the "Violent Crimes Institute", which appears to
consist of a single person: Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin. Her
thing appears to be scaring people about crime.

Anyway let's check S-K's figures:

"Based on population numbers of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants and
the fact that young males make up more of this population than
the general U.S. population, sex offenders in the illegal
immigrant group make up a higher percentage. When examining ICE
reports and public records, it is consistent to find sex
offenders comprising 2% of illegals apprehended. Based on this 2%
figure, which is conservative, there are approximately 240,000
illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States."

Of illegal immigrants _who are apprehended_, she believes 2% are
sex offenders. She guesses 12M million illegal immigrants, so
poof, 240K illegal immigrant sex offenders. Unless, of course,
the 2% is wrong (maybe the overwhelming number aren't sex
offenders, and the sex offenders are more likely to be
apprehended). Or, the 12M is wrong (our friend Rector says 11M).

> The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Where did this number come from? I've tried various combinations
of the numbers above, and I can't get it.

> Are we THAT stupid?

Apparently you are.

> If this doesn't bother you then just delete the message.

Yes, biased research does bother me.badly o

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