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Just the facts

September 09, 2009

Re "Looking for truth in e-mails," Column, Sept. 7

Hector Tobar's column is an outstanding example of the correct way to combat the exaggerations, half-truths and just plain lies that pervade discussions on every contemporary topic, controversial or not.

It is a model of reasoned discourse: confront the statements, find accurate information and display it without succumbing to the hysteria that gives rise to the falsifiers.

Art Cohen

Los Angeles


Tobar's column contained an eye-opening and unbiased look at the illegal immigrants in Los Angeles. By posting the myths and exaggerated "truths" of illegal immigration, and then by proving these statistics wrong, he showed how uninformed many Americans are.

I do not agree with illegal immigration, but posting false information and circulating it by e-mail is raising hate and ignorance toward these immigrants.

Tobar writes: "The authors of the chain e-mail and the phony government report fear what Los Angeles has become -- a multilingual, multiethnic city with multicultural tastes."

These chain e-mails show that this may be the cause of senseless and ignorant crimes. People should research their material well and not deliberately increase prejudice.

Lena Kelly



Tobar's column did not strike me as a responsible use of a respected public platform. It gave me the impression that he is trying to justify illegal immigration and related lawbreaking because some widely circulated e-mails exaggerate the statistics.

Unless responsible members of our society address the problems, they will soon grow to give truth to the e-mails. Is that what Tobar wants? I don't.

Personally, I find his own statistics alarming enough. In 2004, 15% of the county workforce was "outside the system" and 9% were illegal immigrants being paid in cash. And in 2006, 27% of all births were under Medi-Cal to "undocumented women." In 2009-10, 11% of prison inmates will be illegal immigrants.

Just how bad does he want the problems to become before he uses his platform for finding potential solutions?

Bruno Vieri

Rancho Palos Verdes

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