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Hoax Alert

Fake News: 10,800 U.S. Children Were NOT Raped By Illegal Immigrants in 2018

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 02 Jan 2019 13:51:00 Z)

Were 10,800 U.S. children raped by illegal immigrants in 2018? Almost certainly not. The actual statistics haven't been published yet and the 10,800 number is just a very sloppy extrapolation based on data from one state that also includes non-rapes.

The story went viral via an article published on January 2, 2019 titled "NCFIRE: 10,800 U.S. Children Were Raped By Illegal Immigrants in 2018" (archived here) which opened:

The number of U.S. children raped by illegal immigrants in 2018 was a staggering 10,800, according to data compiled by NCFIRE (North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement).

By blocking the funding for a US-Mexico border wall, Chuck Shcumer and Nancy Pelosi are condemning thousands more children to suffer a similar fate.

Americanlibertyreport.com reports: What is it going to take to get a wall built on our southern border? Tucker Carlson had the former mayor of Shiloh, Israel on his show this past week to talk about the blazing success of Israel's border wall with Egypt. 55,000 illegal aliens from poor African countries had snuck into Israel in one year, which is a huge number for such a tiny geographic area. As the rates of rape, murder, burglary, grand theft auto and dynamited ATM machines skyrocketed, Israel's government opted to build a wall on its border.

Screenshot of https://www.thelibertyeagle.com/ncfire-10800-u-s-children-were-raped-by-illegal-immigrants-in-2018/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it would have looked like the story was based on solid data:

NCFIRE: 10,800 U.S. Children Were Raped By Illegal Immigrants in 2018

The number of U.S. children raped by illegal immigrants in 2018 was a staggering 10,800, according to data compiled by NCFIRE (North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement). By blocking the funding for a US-Mexico border

However the article was copied word-for-word from NewsPunch (archived version here), a notoriously unreliable website that copies bits and pieces of content from other websites and then adds a headline with falsified or sensationalized claims:

10,800 U.S. Children Were Raped by Illegal Immigrants in 2018

The number of U.S. children raped by illegal immigrants in 2018 was a staggering 10,800, according to data compiled by NCFIRE (North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement). By blocking the funding for a US-Mexico border wall, Chuck Shcumer and Nancy Pelosi are condemning thousands more children to suffer a similar fate.

It appears that is exactly what happened here. This is the report the NewsPunch article is based on (archived here):

2018: 10,800 Children Raped in America by Illegal Aliens

By hosting a public debate over funding for The Wall with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the White House, President Trump sent a powerful message to his base: The days of the leadership in Washington sneaking off to hold secret meetings and cut deals that betray America are over.

Key section:

Meanwhile, data compiled by NCFIRE (North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement) reveals that the state of North Carolina has arrested an average of 18 illegal aliens every month this year for the crime of child rape.

Statistically, this means that the 50 states in America are on track to arrest 10,800 illegal aliens for raping children in 2018. And that 10,800 figure is a bare-minimum, super-generous, giving-the-illegal-alien-child-rapists-the-benefit-of-the-doubt number. A total of 10,800 arrests assumes that each illegal alien child rapist only rapes one child in America. Many will rape three, four, or a dozen before they are caught, so the "true" number could be in the 30,000 to 40,000 raped children range.

There are several big problems with this calculation.

  • You can't just take a number from one state and multiply it by fifty to get any kind of reliable number for the entire United States. If that were true there would be fifty Statues of Liberty and fifty Grand Canyons.
  • The numbers come from NCFIRE (archived here), an activist group that compiles lists of what it calls "Child Rape Charges by Illegal Aliens" in North Carolina. But these numbers only count arrests, not convictions, and not all people listed in the reports are guilty of rape. We had a look at their November list and found there are also charges for possession of child pornography, failure to report an address change while being a sex offender or "indecent liberties with a child" which can cover many things that are not rape. For many of the reports cited by the group the immigration status of the people involved is also unclear.
  • For the first 11 months of 2018 NCFire reported 195 such cases, or a monthly average of 17.72, not 18. The number 10.800 is the result of multiplying 18 by 12 to get at a yearly figure of 216 and then multiplying that by 50 to get 10.800.

So what are the real numbers? No figures for 2018 have been released yet but according to rainn.org:

Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 57,329 children were victims of sexual abuse

There was no information on the immigration status of the perpetrators but a survey also found following breakdown of the relationship between the abuser and the victim:

80% of perpetrators were a parent
6% were other relatives
5% were "other" (from siblings to strangers)
4% were unmarried partners of a parent

In other words, about 5% of the abusers were strangers. Note this says nothing about how many illegal immigrants perpetrated these crimes: the parents, siblings, relatives etc. mentioned in the statistics could very well have been in the country illegally (or not). But the 10,800 number is definitely bogus and based on a very sloppy calculation using bad source data.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes thelibertyeagle.com as:

A conservative news site that reposts content from other sites without attribution and publishes conspiracy theories.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about thelibertyeagle.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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