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Clueless in Arizona

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 Gov. Brewer’s Absurd Comments Demonstrate Need for Adult Intervention in Arizona

Washington, DC – As news reports indicate the Obama Administration plans to mount a legal challenge to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, recent comments by the bill’s signer, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), underscore the need for the federal government to intervene in just such a manner. 

Repeating comments she made earlier this month, Gov. Brewer said last Friday, “Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules.  They’re coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration.” 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “These outrageous and false statements lead to one of two conclusions: Gov. Brewer either actually believes that most undocumented immigrants are drug smugglers – a conclusion so far from reality that it raises disturbing questions about her grasp of public policy and basic statistics – or she is purposefully mischaracterizing the truth and demonizing immigrants for political purposes.  Either scenario shows that she’s hopelessly unfit to be directing immigration policy and that the federal government desperately needs to provide adult supervision over immigration policy.” 

Brewer’s comments drew immediate condemnations from even backers of the legislation – for example, T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council said that Brewer’s comments were “clearly not the case,” while Senator John McCain (R-AZ) expressed disagreement with Gov. Brewer’s statement while appearing on Meet the Press.

In reality, as FBI statistics demonstrate, crime is not rising in Arizona and Phoenix remains one of the safest big cities in the country.  Additionally, as Newsweek recently highlighted, “big cities with large immigrant populations are safer places to live” and that rising levels of immigration are “partially responsible” for low levels of crime.  The Immigration Policy Center also arrived at this same conclusion in a detailed policy review of the relationship between immigration and crime.

Said Sharry, “As if we needed another reminder, Brewer’s comments and the continued demonization of immigrants for political purposes show that we need Washington to step up and enact a coherent, comprehensive and national policy.  In absence of Washington addressing immigration reform, bigotry and ignorance will continue to fill the vacuum.”    

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.