CNN, Politifact Downplay 2,000 Homicides Committed by Illegals

January 17th, 2019 10:59 PM

On Thursday's New Day, CNN senior political analyst John Avlon presented another of his infamous "Reality Check" segments, which is more akin to liberal spin than an actual effort to clearly inform viewers about the issues.

The CNN analyst argued against a border wall as he cited Politifact to dismiss claims of 2,000 homicides being committed by illegal immigrants in one year being reported by ICE for FY2018.



Co-host Alisyn Camerota set him up by complaining that the Trump administration has promoted misinformation about the border: "Of all of the fact-free fearmongering regarding President Trump's border wall, perhaps nothing fudges the truth more than the claim that the Southern border wall would stop the flow of drugs."

She then handed over to Avlon, who began by fretting about Republicans arguing for a wall to cut drug smuggling. Referring to a Friday interview co-host John Berman did with Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, Avlon complained: "Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks got into a fiery debate with our own John Berman about it, and I got a bit fired up myself listening to Brooks compare the attacks of 9/11 to the need to build a wall. There's just no comparison, Congressman."

Then came a soundbite of Congressman Brooks noting the 2018 annual report by ICE that recalled 2,000 cases of homicides commited by aliens who were processed for deportation as the congressman gave the impression that all 2,000 cases might have happened in one year. He also blamed about 15,000 overdose deaths on drugs smuggled across the border.

After then showing a clip of Ohio Repubican Congressman Brad Wenstrup arguing that there is a need to stop diseases and drug smuggling from crossing the border, Avlon griped: "So we've got Trump Republican congressmen comparing undocumented immigrants to terrorists, murderers, and disease-ridden drug mules."

He then vaguely referred to Politifact as he claimed that the reports of 2,000 homicides a year had been debunked without bothering to inform viewers about what the truth on the issue actually is. Here was Avlon: "Now, Politifact and others have taken down Brooks's argument that undocumented immigrants commit 2,000 homicides a year, and we could devote an entire 'Reality Check' to Wenstrup's dog whistle that people from other countries spread scary diseases."

If one takes a look at the Politifact article he cited, it reads like another lame fact check that the site has become famous for that spins for liberals. The analysis has a point in that the 2,000 homicides cited do not actually come from 2018 since illegals who commit homicides are usually deported after they have spent years serving their sentences in prison, so the total number of homicides committed by illegal aliens in 2018 or any particular year is still unclear.

But the fact-checking site also bizarrely tried to suggest that many homicides were not so bad since not all homicides are actually murders. But legal justifiable homicides tend to make up only a small portion of total homicides, and manslaughter cases are still serious matters in which someone died even if they do not fit the legal definition of murder.

Additionally, if the site had bothered to check numbers for previous years, there were at least a couple of years -- 2011 and 2012 -- when the Obama adiministration reported a number of homicide cases processed by ICE as being well over 1,000, suggesting that numbers between 1,000 and 2,000 may actually be typical and reflective of how many homicides are committed by illegals each year.

And, in FY2017, ICE processed illegal immigrants who had similarly committed almost 1,900 homicides.

And, in a country where over the past 20 years the total number of homicides nationwide tends to vary between 14,000 and 17,000 a year, such numbers from illegal immigrants would represent a substantial chunk -- and probably a disproportionately high portion -- of the nation's homicides.

Instead of exploring this angle, Avlon went on to argue that illegal drugs are mostly smuggled into the country in ways other than across areas where a wall might be built, but he did not mention the argument made on CNN recently by Texas Republican Congressman Chip Roy that preventing migrants from crossing the border would free Border Patrol agents to focus on detecting smuggling through ports of entry.

And, with regard to Avlon's claim that concerns about illegal immigrants bringing diseases constitute a "dog whistle," former ICE acting director Tom Homan recently recalled cases of epidemics breaking out at detention facilties that had to be contained during his tenure, including chicken pox and measles. There was also a case of a rare strain of TB that was difficult to treat.