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Dear Meg Whitman: Please Check Your Math

May 26th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon



In the competition between Republican gubernatorial candidates
to win the who’s-going-to-sound-the-hardest-core-on-the-immigration-issue, the Sacramento Bee reports that former eBay CEO, Meg Whitman, made the following statement.

Stopping illegal immigration “is absolutely essential because the costs are enormous,” Whitman said. “I don’t know if you know this, but 30 percent of the state prisoners are probably illegal immigrants. We don’t get reimbursed for those monies. And it’s putting a burden on every element of the state budget.”

Well, no, Meg, undocumented (or illegal or whatever word you want to use) immigrants aren’t 30 percent of California’s prison population. They are 11 percent of our state prisoners. And, yes, that’s still significant. But Whitman overstated the significance by…um…around 200 percent.

Oh, and she’s also dead wrong about the reimbursement thingy. The state doesn’t get enough federal reimbursement for incarcerating immigrants, but had she bothered to ask someone, Whitman would have known California definitely gets fed money to help cut our expenses.

In any case, we would humbly suggest that before the Megster starts making pronouncements, that she checks her facts.

The errors may seem trivial. But when we are choosing someone to lead us through California’s budget morass, it would be nice if that person was at least marginally accurate with their figures rather than treating them as clay to be molded this way and that for political gain.


Posted in Social Justice Shorts | 22 Comments »

22 Responses

  1. Sure Fire Says:

    Where did Palmer get his 11% number Celeste? Whitman is still well off but the last “legit” percentage I could find was 12.4% in 2004. If that number has remained about the same for years as Palmer claimed is Palmer maybe low-balling the actual percentage? Isn’t even 11% kind of alarming when estimates of the number of illegals in California is estimated at about 7%? If you ask me It’s pretty much out of proportion for their population size.

    Doing the Randy line of questioning I also wonder what’s an acceptable amount of crimes that we should live with that the illegal population would be responsible for? My answer should be pretty obvious.

  2. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Palmer would be working with CDCR stats. He’s the spokesguy for the governor on budget and fiscal issues, a longtime Republican and has a background of being very nuts and bolts. I’d guess his numbers are likely fairly within the realm of accurate.

  3. Sure Fire Says:

    Yeah Celeste, he’s the spokesman for the Democrat governor, Arnold is no Republican, and his figure is I believe off which isn’t uncommon in political speak.

    Consider also that many other prisoners are born of two illegal parents and shouldn’t even be citizens. Wonder what the percentage would rise to if that were factored in? It’s pretty said what a stupid nation we tend to be at times.

    As I understand it, the 14th Amendment was enacted simply to extend civil rights to recently freed slaves, not to grant citizenship to those who we had no jurisdiction over (the floor debate on the ammendment shows that). When the 14th amendment came to be we had no immigration policy and I’m pretty sure we’re the only nation in the world that grants citizenship, with all its benefits to babies born to two illegal parents.

    How much money and lives that has cost us as a nation?

  4. Sure Fire Says:

    “sad” not “said”.

  5. Celeste Fremon Says:

    He also worked for Pete Wilson and some others. Check his bio.

  6. reg Says:

    “the Democrat governor” ????

    Some people need to grow the fuck up. What’s more childish than this Alice-in-Wonderland “words mean what I say they mean” bullshit ?

  7. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Again, attack the opinions not the person. The latter leads nowhere fun.

  8. Sure Fire Says:

    He doesn’t act like any Republican, get a clue. Notice when the language gets grade school it always starts with the same child?

  9. Sure Fire Says:

    As an after thought.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/opinion/29kobach.html

  10. reg Says:

    “Grade school” is claiming Arnold isn’t a Republlican because you disagree with his policies.
    This is why the Republican Party has become a dead end for ideologues.

  11. reg Says:

    I guess to be an authentic “Republican” these days you have to consider Obama a threat to the United States as great as Hitler or Stalin – like Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and the rest claim. Childish doesn’t even begin to describe the routine mindset on the Right.

    I’m not going to get into arguments with this particular commenter because it’s a dead end.

  12. reg Says:

    I also find it amazing that anyone would take issue with this post which correctly points out that Whitman is using wildly inflated numbers. What’s the defense here ? “The Randy line of questioning”, incidentally, is about having a modest bit of evidence to back things up. Invoking Randy makes absolutely no sense in this context or in this complaint.

  13. reg Says:

    Who ya gonna believe about the vitures of the AZ law ? A law professor – and professional GOP party hack (KS state chairman and failed congressional candidate) who helped write the AZ law and represents the anti-immigration-across-the-board rightwing group FAIR , none of which is stated in his op-ed bio – or a bunch of top cops ?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/26/AR2010052601200.html

    Perhaps the number of illegal immigrants in prison will go down if we pass a law like Arizona’s…because it will be harder to do professional police work (work which I support 100% over “Jack Bauer” fantasies or the interference of blatant ideologues.)

    Any further comment on this issue will not involve me, so “fire away” freely. Have fun…

  14. reg Says:

    “virtues” not “vitures”

  15. Mavis Beacon Says:

    I don’t know, surefire, Arnold’s new budget looks to cut money for poor children, drug treatment programs, and the disabled. Sounds like a Republican to me!

    As for Latino and illegal immigrant crime rates (which are not the same thing!), a few months ago I read a very long and thorough dissection of the issue from The American Conservative. They concluded that if you control for demographics – most immigrants are young men – and ignore the crime of illegal immigration itself, the crime rates of Latinos in the West are actually slightly lower than the rest of the population. In the Northeast, they are slightly higher, with some variation. That isn’t to say any increase in crime isn’t a concern, but it’s not the type or severity of problem some would have you believe. Here’s the link: http://www.amconmag.com/article/2010/mar/01/00022/

  16. reg Says:

    The American Conservative is the weirdest mix of good reporting and analysis mixed in with Buchananism and Steve Sailer neo-racism. I used to subscribe to the print version, but I felt like I had to tear the mag in half before I could read it. Larison is generally excellent.

  17. Sure Fire Says:

    When will Reg actually follow through on his own words, “Any further comment on this issue will not involve me, so “fire away” freely. Have fun…”. It’s like watching a hype trying to toss his needle away.

    What you know about top cops could fit on the head of a pin Reg. A top cop, a chief to you, doesn’t do cop work, isn’t in the field dealing with crime and the last time most of these guys did field work was light years ago. Talk to cops in the field now and see what they say. In all my years I never has a victim or witness refuse to give me info on a crime due to their immigration status, it’s a lie that people have run with for years and only the uninformed believe. I was in “the field” 21 years, spare me the grade school b.s..

    When people wouldn’t come forth it was always due to the fear of retaliation or to protect a friend, loved one or family member.

  18. Randy Paul Says:

    Doing the Randy line of questioning I also wonder what’s an acceptable amount of crimes that we should live with that the illegal population would be responsible for?

    As I haven’t even contributed until now to this thread, I don’t know whether to be flattered or think someone is obsessed :-)

    As I understand it, the 14th Amendment was enacted simply to extend civil rights to recently freed slaves, not to grant citizenship to those who we had no jurisdiction over (the floor debate on the ammendment shows that).

    Really? I’d like to read that, because the actual text includes a clause that specifically excludes those who were not under US jurisdiction, i.e., Native Americans who maintained tribal ties and the children of ambassadors or foreign ministers here in the US.

    In 1898 in United States v Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court ruled that the child of a Chinese couple born i the US was entitled to US citizenship, citing the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment.

    In addition, there is some question as to the use of the word jurisdiction. Clearly, unlike diplomats who have diplomatic immunity, illegal aliens are subject to arrest, etc, so are, in fact, under the jurisdiction of the US.

  19. Randy Paul Says:

    I’m pretty sure we’re the only nation in the world that grants citizenship, with all its benefits to babies born to two illegal parents.

    You aroused my curiousity, so I decided to research this and came across
    this massive pdf file
    that, granted, is nine years old, but I looked through and came across the following list of nations that confer citizenship by birth with the same diplomatic exceptions that the USA has:

    Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, francde, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mexico, nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay & Venezuela.

    In addition, both India and Zambia grant this, but the recipient must formally apply upon reaching the legal age of majority.

    In addition, citizenship from France and Ireland effectively gives you full EU privileges.

  20. Sure Fire Says:

    I’ll post back to you on this Randy because I just heard this the other day.

  21. Sure Fire Says:

    Really, I’ll play Reg and just pick one country.

    French nationality law
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to:navigation, search
    Question book-new.svg
    This article needs additional citations for verification.
    Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)
    Armoiries république française.svg

    French nationality law is historically based on the principles of jus soli, according to Ernest Renan’s definition, and/or the German’s definition of nationality formalized by Fichte. The 1993 reform (Méhaignerie Act) required children born in France of foreign parents to request French nationality at adulthood, rather than being automatically accorded citizenship. This “manifestation of will” requirement was subsequently abrogated by the Guigou Law of 1998 [1], but children born in France of foreign parents remain foreign until obtaining legal majority.

    As in most other countries, but differing from the US, children born in France to tourists or short term visitors do not acquire French citizenship by virtue of birth in France: residency must be proven. As immigration became more and more of a political theme in the 1980s, albeit accompanied by a lower immigration rate (see Demographics in France), both left- and right-wing governments have issued several laws restricting more and more the possibilities of being naturalized.

  22. randy Paul Says:

    So accepting your terms ad arguendo, there are fifty-two countries that grant citizenship by birth per my source.

    In any event, if someone has been residing in France for five years and is not there legally, it certainly appears to me that all they would have to do is prove residency, which would probably not be difficult in order for their offspring born in France to be considered french citizens.

    Your last sentence references naturalization which is an entirely different subject, especially as my link indicates.

    I might also add that someone residing illegally in French Guiana, French Polynesia and the other overseas departments could also obtain French citizenship for their children as France considers these territories to be department of France.

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