We are inclined to believe the much more comprehensive analysis of the Pew Hispanic Center, which reported there were 11.1 million unauthorized migrants in the U.S. in March 2005 and (in perhaps the authoritative study Trasvina referred to) gave “an estimate of 11.5 to 12 million for the unauthorized population as of March 2006.”

Dobbs’ suggestion that somehow Bear Stearns’ estimate is just as valid as the better-grounded lower estimates (“11 to 20 million”) just doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

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Edward B. Colby was a writer at CJR Daily.