Sheriff Arpeggio and the Lone Truther sipped their coffee. Not $4.00 a cup Starbucks coffee either, just good cowboy coffee boiled over the fire with the grounds settled by a good dash of cold water in the pot.
The Lone Truther studied the email about illegal immigrants again. “Sheriff, this email alleges that, ‘95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles and of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.’”
“Bah. LAPD doesn’t keep that kind of data. Somebody made that up. Besides, LAPD clears 2/3rds of its homicide cases and more than 1/3 of the remainder are fugitives who are later convicted in other countries. That one didn’t worry me at all.”
“The Sheriff is right, “ added Tonto. “I’m looking at the LA most wanted list right now.”
“Plus, said the Sheriff, “that email claims that nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally. It’s 23% in Los Angeles jails and it includes all illegal aliens including a bunch from Asia.”
“What is next?” asked Tonto.
“Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.”
“Oh, that’s fine. I wonder why the people of Los Angeles haven’t noticed all those people in their garages. Do you or LAPD get many calls about that Sheriff?”
“I thought so,” said the Lone Truther. “Here’s one for you to look up Tonto. It says, ‘The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.’”
“Kemo Sabe, that was not even the FBI. It was a study by California authorities 13 years ago about one gang in cahoots with Mexican drug runners.”
The Lone Ranger grimaced as he read the next one. “21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking. What’s a radio station?”
“We got 90 some odd radio stations in LA,” said Sheriff Arpeggio. “And the First Amendment. Don’t know why that is relevant to anything.”
“But this email also says you got 5.1 million people who speak English and 3.9 million who speak Spanish.”
Tonto chuckled. “Yeah and most of the 3.9 million who speak Spanish also speak English. I wonder how many of the 5.1 million who speak English can speak a word of Spanish. Besides, the numbers don’t add up Sheriff. What are the other one million people speaking?”
The Lone Truther chimed in. “We have to remember not to believe everything we read. It says this was all in the Los Angeles Times.”
“But it wasn’t,” said Tonto. “It was from all over the place and was written by somebody who thinks every Hispanic is an illegal alien which will come as quite a shock to the 45 Million who are here legally. Heck, over in New Mexico 44% of their population is Hispanic and a lot of those families have been here for 400 years!”
“What about this last one?” asked the Sheriff. “Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States ‘ annual population growth (and over 90% of California , Florida , and New York ) results from immigration.”
The Lone Truther scratched his head. “That’s impossible. Illegal aliens can’t get welfare. And how does he know that less than 2% of illegals are picking our crops? I guess the rest are living in garages in Los Angeles, making babies, murdering their landlords and driving to their white-collar jobs in Santa Monica?”
The Sheriff said, “Well this sure will help. Now I can tell my citizens not to worry so much.”
“Sheriff, this whole thing is a pack of lies. Whoever wrote it is ignorant, a racist, or a liar or all three. Tell em that. And tell them to take a breath. Except for Tonto and his people, we’re all immigrants here. Remind them that more than a million Hispanics are veterans of the United States Armed Forces!”
The Lone Truther put more wood on the fire. “Why don’t you stay for dinner, Sheriff?”
“Don’t mind if I do. If your food is as good as your coffee it’ll be fine. What are you having?”
“Buffalo steak with sauteed mushrooms and some of Tonto’s special sun-dried tomatoes.”
The data for these posts about “Just One State,” about illegal immigration came primarily from U.S. Census Bureau data. Various forms of the email have been floating around since at least 2002. Snopes dealt with the 2006 version but, as far as we can tell, has not updated its information since then. Specific Census Bureau data for Los Angeles County is here.
Statistics regarding illegal immigration came from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Washington Post editorializes about Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix and his policies regarding illegal immigrants today. Any resemblance between the real Sheriff Arpaio of Phoenix and my Sheriff Arpeggio is, of course, purely coincidental.