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Awesome Statistics, After A Fashion
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June 09, 2007, 01:35 PM
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While routinely checking the Billings Gazette for immigration-related articles, I happened upon "Hard work overcomes language barrier," from June 6, 2007.

The locally-generated article is of mild human interest. More interesting are the half dozen (as of early June 9) readers` comments. Despite the fact that the article`s protagonist is a legal immigrant, four of the comments are casually caustic about "illegals," a phenomenon I see associated with most Gazette stories having any connection with immigration. With this article, I can`t tell if most commenters are Montanans, but with many articles it`s clear that they are, indicating that even "remote" Montana has been sensitized to the immigration invasion.

This time, the sixth comment, by "Bobo," is actually educational:

"Should the Gazette want to portray the flipside of immigration, there are plenty of leads on the FBI website. Of the 73 people wanted by the FBI for murder, 39 are foreign nationals (32 Mexicans). www.fbi.gov/wanted/fugitives/vc/murders/vc_murders.htm"

That link provided by Bobo is to the FBI`s "Wanted for Murder" web page, which was new to me. And quite astonishing in its explicitness that 44% of those on the federal wanted-for-murder list are Mexican born. (A spot check suggests that Bobo`s statistics are correct.) Ah, the benefits of exposure to foreign cultures!

Save that page for your own use! It`s hard data, a welcome departure from the endlessly chain-emailed, bogus statistic that "95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens."

The smaller companion list of those wanted for other violent crimes is also generously sprinkled with foreign born.