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February 26, 2008

Obama on Immigration Debate

I missed this from the CNN debate in Austin last week (ok, I had it on, but I wasn't really paying attention). When the topic turned to immigration, Obama said we have to tone down the rhetoric because "We have seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate".

Money quote about 42 seconds in:

We have? Where have we seen this?

I know, it's just Obama turning the argument into "what's wrong with America" with ready statistics from the Department of Totally Making Shit Up, and of course Clinton can't pile on because she's a) on life support in this debate, and b) she holds pretty much the same views.

It's a "feel-good" line intended to take the focus off the issue in order to deliver a non-answer answer. One wonders if McCain would have chewed him up on this. That's what one wonders.

For some inexplicable reason, my gut says no.

UPDATE: DrewM points me to an article about an FBI report showing overall hate crimes up 8% in 2006.

An excerpt (from the FBI report):

Ethnicity/national origin bias

Hate crimes motivated by the offender’s bias toward a particular ethnicity/national origin were directed at 1,305 victims (1233 incidents). Of these victims:

62.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Hispanic bias.
37.2 percent were victimized because of a bias against other ethnicities/national origins.

So I'll withdraw my complaint and see what the 14 tables say, if anything about causality.

More: nope, I won't either. The numbers don't reflect immigration status, all you can derive anything from are the 5 categories of "Bias motivation" (racial, religious, sexual orientation, perceived ethnicity/national origin, and disability. But in that one category,

2003: 1026 incidents, 1326 victims (lower percentage of Hispanic vs. all other)
2006: 984 incidents, 1305 victims (higher percentage of Hispanic vs. all other)

The numbers don't prove he's wrong, but neither do they prove he's right. And he has no numbers for '07, which as several commenters have pointed out, is the year we all "toned up the rhetoric".

Sorry for being all Mr. Pedant McPedantry. I think I'll pick on Starbucks now. I hate those bastards.

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posted by Dave In Texas at 01:48 PM

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