Bachmann: 50 percent of Mexico’s population has moved north of the border

Michele Bachmann is taking some flack for this Bill O’Reilly interview in which she raises no objections to the notion of "dragging [illegal immigrants] out, putting them on a bus with their children’s crying," but she also makes one whopper of a factual error: BACHMANN: Can I tell you why this is such a big problem? ...

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Michele Bachmann is taking some flack for this Bill O'Reilly interview in which she raises no objections to the notion of "dragging [illegal immigrants] out, putting them on a bus with their children’s crying," but she also makes one whopper of a factual error:

BACHMANN: Can I tell you why this is such a big problem?

O'REILLY: No we know why it's a problem.

Michele Bachmann is taking some flack for this Bill O’Reilly interview in which she raises no objections to the notion of "dragging [illegal immigrants] out, putting them on a bus with their children’s crying," but she also makes one whopper of a factual error:

BACHMANN: Can I tell you why this is such a big problem?

O’REILLY: No we know why it’s a problem.

BACHMANN: No let me tell you why. There was a column that came out this weekend by Mark Steyn, he said 50 percent of the population of Mexico has now gone north of the border, 50 percent of the population.

The actual number is quite high — around 11 percent as of 2008, though that may be declining — but 50 percent would really be something. Looking at the Mark Steyn column where Bachmann got the number, it’s pretty clear the author was intentionally exaggerating:

I am not a Ron Paul isolationist. The United States has two reasonably benign neighbors, and the result is that 50 percent of Mexico’s population has moved north of the border and 100 percent of every bad Canadian idea, from multiculturalism to government health care, has moved south of the border. So much for Fortress America. 

Presumably those bad Canadian ideas should be dragged onto buses in front of their crying children as well. Steyn’s ideas are probably safe under the Bachmann presidency but David Frum’s are pushing it

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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