Arizona governor Jan Brewer immigrant crime claims revealed as nonsense
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- Prospects for immigration reform bill are 50-50 say the pols privately - House seen as major obstacle as Senate gets closer to a vote
Thank goodness for good journalism.
In one of the best examples of digging beneath the headlines Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has skewered the nonsense from the right that crime on the Arizona border is out of control.
Instead he finds the border has never been more secure.
Milbank believes Arizona governor Jan Brewer,(above), has lost her mind.
He uses this quote "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," she announced on local television.
Turns out there is not a shred of evidence to support her claim.
Medical examiners in Arizona's border counties say they had never seen an immigration-related beheading. Brewer's press office refused to comment when asked to defend their claim.
Milbank also nails several other immigration falsehoods being spread by Arizona politicians.
He says these include "Border violence on the rise? Phoenix becoming the world's No. 2 kidnapping capital? Illegal immigrants responsible for most police killings? The majority of those crossing the border are drug mules? All wrong."
He quotes the Arizona Republic which published an exhaustive report that found that, according to the FBI and Arizona police agencies, crime in Arizona border towns has been "essentially flat for the past decade."
For instance , "In 2000, there were 23 rapes, robberies and murders in Nogales, Ariz. Last year, despite nearly a decade of population growth, there were 19 such crimes."
The Pima County sheriff stated that "the border has never been more secure."
FBI statistics also show violent crime in all of the border states are lower than they were a decade ago.
Enter Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who claims that violence is "the worst I have ever seen."
When President Obama told the truth last week that "the southern border is more secure today than any time in the past 20 years," Rush Limbaugh said the president was "fit for the psycho ward" on the basis of his remarks.
Despite this McCain told NBC, ABC and CNN that Phoenix is the "No. 2 kidnapping capital of the world" behind only Mexico City based on an entirely erroneous ABC report in February 2009 "
In fact kidnappings in Phoenix are declining.
Then there's Brewer's claim that "the majority" of people immigrating illegally "are coming here and they're bringing drugs, and they're doing drop houses and they're extorting people and they're terrorizing the families. That is the truth."
How come then the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector has apprehended more than 170,000 undocumented immigrants since Oct. 1, but only about 1,100 drug prosecutions have been filed in Arizona in that time.
So where Milbank asks is this "terrible border security crisis" that Brewer claims has only "gotten worse"?
Fact is it is not remotely as bad as the anti immigrant groups are claiming.
Milbank has done a great service by pointing that out.
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