Immigrant crash story a magnet for myths
The newest immigration uproar in Colorado involving an undocumented immigrant who allegedly caused a car accident killing three people in Aurora has emboldened media outlets and conservative radio hosts to parrot factual inaccuracies related to immigration.
When it was reported a little over a week ago that Francis Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant who was arrested 16 times in the state but never deported, was possibly responsible for a killing two adults and a 3-year-old boy after crashing his vehicle into an ice cream shop, the media went into a tizzy spouting facts that weren’t true, according to a report released by local watchdog group Colorado Media Matters last week:
Newsradio 850 KOA’s “Gunny” Bob Newman parroted the unsubstantiated assertion that illegal immigrants kill 12 Americans every day, KDVR Fox 31 aired the baseless claim that “25 to 30 percent of the entire inmate population in most jails are aliens subject to deportation,” and columnist Chuck Green in The Pueblo Chieftain and The Aurora Sentinel repeated the myth that Colorado is a “sanctuary state” and Denver is a “sanctuary city.”
Right-leaning radio programs have traditionally been the worst factual offenders on immigration so far, but the watchdog group’s report reminds readers that when tragedy strikes, print and broadcast news organizations are prone to make fictitious claims as well.
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