Critics are charging that the crime data cited by Arizona State Rep. Russell Pearce, one of the state’s hard-liners on immigration, don’t add up, reports the Arizona Republic. The Arizona Interfaith Network challenged Pearce’s comments that link illegal immigrants with crimes ranging from homicide to child molestation. Pearce has said that 80 percent of violent crimes involve illegal aliens, attributing the figure to former Phoenix Police Chief Harold Hurtt, now in Houston. Hurtt denies making the statement.
Pearce has said that one-third of federal prisoners are illegal. The Network points out that fewer than 12 percent of those incarcerated in state prisons are foreign nationals of unknown citizenship. The Republic found that 27 percent of those incarcerated in federal prisons are not U.S. citizens. That’s 6 percent short of a third and doesn’t take into account foreign-born residents who are in the country legally. Pearce said he got the statistic from CNN. Pearce also was called on a statistic that 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide in Los Angeles target illegal aliens. A Los Angeles Police spokesman denied giving such a figure.