On GMA, Geraldo Claims Illegals 'Law-Abiding.' Really?

Appearing on Good Morning America today, Geraldo Rivera claimed that illegal aliens in the United States are "law abiding." Is he right?

In a debate moderated by GMA co-host Diane Sawyer that began today at about 7:15 am EDT, Geraldo faced off against Glenn Beck. Rivera made a case for letting the estimated 12 million illegal aliens remain in the country.
GERALDO RIVERA: We have 12 million people who are gainfully employed; the vast majority of them are. I submit to you that these people are a vital part of the American economy. That they are doing jobs that essentially Americans don't want. Americans are fully employed. To lose these 12 million hard-working people, law-abiding, family people, socially-conservative people in many ways, I think would be a travesty.
When Beck challenged Geraldo's law-abiding claim, pointing to the three illegal aliens who were among the al Qaeda-inspired terrorists planning to attack Fort Dix, Rivera retorted that the fence Beck favors wouldn't have kept them out, since they came in through JFK airport.

But let's focus on the people coming across the southern border, and consider Geraldo's claim that they are "law-abiding." Accoring to this recent NewsMax article, which in turn relies on confirmation by a former senior special agent with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  • Illegal aliens are killing more Americans than the Iraq war. More than 15 percent of all murders reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States are committed by illegal aliens, three times the representation of illegal aliens in the general population.
  • Ninety-five percent of warrants for murder in Los Angeles, Calif. are for illegal aliens.
  • Eighty-three percent of warrants for murder in Phoenix, Ariz. are for illegal aliens.
  • Eighty-six percent of warrants for murder in Albuquerque, N.M., are for illegal aliens.
  • Seventy-five percent of people on the "Most Wanted" list in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.
  • Twenty-five percent of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals who are here illegally.
  • Forty percent of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
  • Forty-eight percent of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
So how about it, Geraldo? Do you refute those figures. If so, how? If not, is this your idea of "law-abiding"?

ASIDE: Though brought on presumably as an anti-immigration hawk to balance Geraldo, Beck proved himself surprisingly moderate, ultimately agreeing with Rivera on the key issue of amnesty for illegals.
RIVERA: Do you stand for the legalization of the 12 million here, or not?

BECK: I will absolutely talk to you about that.

RIVERA: Yes or no, Glenn.

BECK: I think so, yes, yes, I believe I am.

RIVERA: Then the rest is details.
Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.