Conservative radio hosts claimed HUD said 5 million illegal immigrants were given subprime mortgages, despite HUD's reported denials

››› ››› NATHAN TABAK & GREG LEWIS

Rush Limbaugh and KSFO's Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave "5 million illegal aliens" subprime loans that they have not paid back. Quinn & Rose's Jim Quinn also cited the 5 million statistic without citing a source for the figure. None of these radio hosts noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.

On October 10, radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Lee Rodgers repeated a variation of the claim that on October 9, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported, in Limbaugh's words, "that 5 million illegal aliens were given" subprime loans that they have not paid back. In addition, radio host Jim Quinn cited the 5 million statistic without citing a source for the figure. None of the talk radio hosts noted that HUD has reportedly stated that this statistic is false.

As Media Matters for America has documented, radio host Roger Hedgecock similarly claimed that "HUD was talking about 5 million illegal alien home mortgage loans that have gone bad." On October 9, the Drudge Report linked to an article posted on the website of Phoenix radio station KFYI under the headline "HUD: Five Million Fraudulent Mortgages Held by Illegals..." However, according to an October 9 Phoenix Business Journal article, HUD "says there is no basis to news reports that more than 5 million bad mortgages are held by illegal immigrants" and "a HUD spokesman said ... his agency has no data showing the number of illegal immigrants holding foreclosed or bad mortgages." KFYI stated in a subsequent article that a "person from Housing and Urban Development contacted KFYI to tell us the number was inaccurate, that there were only 2.3 million mortgages held by immigrants, so there was no way that 5 million illegals could have mortgages." KFYI also reported that its source for the original story was an unnamed "retired agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement," who "stands by" the numbers in the original report.

From the October 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: What is the root right now of this economic problem? What's the root of it? Subprime mortgages. Not supposedly what has happened in the subprime mortgage industry, the whole country -- look at HUD yesterday admitting 5 million illegal aliens were given mortgages without -- with fake Social Security numbers and so forth to go out and purchase homes that they didn't have to pay back -- 5 million of them. And that's just a drop in the bucket to the number that are out there, and the number of banks that were involved.

Now, whose idea was this? Democrats -- starting with Jimmy Carter and moving through Bill Clinton. Who pressured banks via intimidation to make these kinds of loans? Democrats -- led by Jamie Gorelick and Janet Reno in the Clinton administration. Led by ACORN. Barack Obama was part of a suit against Citibank, Citicorp, to make them make such loans. The suit was settled out of court because of the pressure brought to bear.

From the October 10 broadcast of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Show:

RODGERS: Neither of these pathetic weenies we have running for president wants to talk about this, but here's a reality check -- and this news story came out right after the program yesterday. And I think Rush devoted a little time to it, but it deserves all the exposure we can give it.

Some 5 million of these fraudulent home mortgages are in the hands of illegal aliens. These figures come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The problem began years ago, when banks were forced to give mortgages without confirming Social Security numbers or borrower identification, and as a result, illegal immigrants were able to obtain home mortgages, which they could not afford, and some banks, starting with, I believe, B of A -- Bank of America -- was, if not the first, among the first of the big banks openly advertising that they would give mortgages to illegal aliens. Remember that?

Well, some of us -- we certainly were absolutely raising hell on the air about it, because they went ahead and did it. Now -- and now they have 5 million bad mortgages to illegal aliens. One guy was arrested in Tucson after using a stolen Social Security number to buy two houses and rack up over $780,000 in bad debt. Why? Because Bush and McCain and Obama and the Democrat Congress have absolutely no respect for our immigration laws. They don't have the guts to enforce them, and instead, they try every sneaky way possible to subvert the immigration laws. This is the sorry state at which we have arrived in this country.

From the October 10 broadcast of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose:

QUINN: The Democrats have done to this entire country what Enron did to its employees, and they have yet to pay a price for it.

By the way, another dirty little secret from the halls of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Five million of these bad mortgages went to illegal aliens -- people who weren't even required to give a valid identification. Now, you can get mad about the excesses on Wall Street, and there are some. That can really tick you off, you know. AIG, what were you guys thinking?

You can get upset about that if you want to, but don't get too upset because it diverts you from the real problem: 5 million mortgages to illegal aliens who didn't even have to come up with an ID. They have given away your American dream, and by God, at some point, they need to be called to account for it.

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