When I read that 111,794 illegal aliens were deported in the past year, including more than 50,000 criminals (Oct. 31), the absurdity of the statement overwhelmed me. If 111,794 illegal aliens were deported in the last year, then the number of criminals deported was far above the 50,000 you reported; in fact, precisely 111,794 criminals were deported. Illegal aliens are, in fact, criminals. Illegal presence in the United States by a foreign national is a federal crime.
When is The Times going to perceive the overwhelming, documented evidence and recognize illegal immigration for the enormous problem it actually is? Selective perception may make the world appear to be a much nicer place but it does not change documented facts and reality.
This year's Pulitzer Prize for the "most misleading front-page graphic" should go to The Times for "Record Numbers Deported."
Everywhere the stress is on criminals: 45% had criminal records; a graphic showing in red the high percentage of criminals among the deportees; three "L.A. Stories," each about a local criminal deportee.
What else can John Q. Public conclude but that illegal immigrants are largely dangerous criminals? The truth is the Immigration and Naturalization Service concentrates its enforcement efforts on conducting deportation hearings in prisons, hence the percentage of criminals among deported immigrants is tremendously inflated.
However, as an ex-INS prosecutor, I assure you that more than 90% of illegal immigrants do not have criminal records. They are deportable because they overstayed their visas or entered the U.S. without papers to find work. Illegal, yes, but about as dangerous as your nanny or your gardener.
Next time, please provide a little context before you scare your readers out of their wits!