Immigrant murder myth alive and well on talk radio

There are media programs where radio listeners can hear enlightened and factual discussions about immigration, but "The Peter Boyles Show" is not one of those programs. Last week Lou Pate, a guest host sitting in for Boyles on the local radio program, supported a false assertion blaming undocumented immigrants for more than half of all homicides in the United States.

Colorado Media Matters reports on an erroneous claim that was again dredged up on the "The Peter Boyles Show" on Friday:


As guest host of 630 KHOW-AM’s The Peter Boyles Show on August 8, Lou Pate supported a caller’s unsubstantiated assertion that "25 U.S. citizens per day are killed by illegal aliens," responding, "And because the media is liberal, and because the media is politically correct, they don’t hear about it."

The caller did not attribute his figure to any source, although as Colorado Media Matters repeatedly has noted, the claim appears to have originated in statements that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made in May 2006, based on his own "extrapolat[ion]" of figures from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study. A Colorado Media Matters review found that there is no GAO study reporting that illegal immigrants kill 25 Americans a day.

The “undocumented immigrants kill 25 citizens a day” myth has been repeated on the Boyles show numerous times in the past—even by Boyles himself—despite a lack of accurate data to the contrary.

In fact, such a figure isn’t even statistically possible. Most recent reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that an estimated 17,034 people were murdered nationwide in 2006. Murdering 25 citizens a day, that adds up to 9,125 individual homicides a year, more than half of the total annual number!

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at