The sound of two jaws flapping: Bachmann and O’Reilly on the scourge of criminal aliens

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Wednesday night on Fox, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann engaged in a cheerfully fact-free five-minute colloquy with Bill O’Reilly regarding the case of Olga Franco, the Guatemalan woman who caused the southern Minnesota school bus crash that killed four children.

It culminated in this exchange:

O’Reilly: In Minnesota, there is no urgency to solve this illegal immigrant crime problem. See, this is a crime problem.

Bachmann: This is a crime problem. This is an issue of anarchy versus the rule of law. The question is, when are we going to get serious about this, and stop tinkering around the edges? If we can’t get serious and outraged about four innocent kids, one of which will be buried tomorrow, I don’t know what it’s going to take, Bill.

O’Reilly: Yeah, I just want everybody across the world to look at these kids…

Bachmann: That’s right…

O’Reilly: … killed on a school bus…

Bachmann: That’s right. That’s right…

O’Reilly: Woman never should have been in this country, never should have been driving an automobile…

Bachmann: That’s right. That’s exactly right. It’s tragic.

Bachmann and O’Reilly’s fevered vision of marauding illegals committing crimes and endangering public safety all across the country stands in stark contrast to the findings of a study released this week by the Public Policy Institute of California. In culling through arrest and incarceration statistics from the state, the authors found that immigrants were far less likely to commit crimes than native-born residents.

“For example,” they write in the study abstract, “among men ages 18-40 – the age group most likely to commit crime – the U.S.-born are 10 times more likely than the foreign-born to be in jail or prison. Even among noncitizen men from Mexico ages 18-40 – a group disproportionately likely to have entered the United States illegally – the authors find very low rates of institutionalization. Such findings suggest that longstanding fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified.”

Read the PPIC study.

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