This site doesn’t formally take a stand as a site since it has so many diverse voices that comprise the Moderate Voice. But on this one there is likely consensus.
Illegal immigration is a serious issue that has bedeviled the United States for years (one of my reporting jobs while working on the San Diego Union during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan was to write on immigration and Reagan’s immigration reform/amnesty program, and I also wrote a series on the issue while a reporter on the Wichita Eagle-Beacon several years earlier). It’s an issue crammed with passions on both sides, warring statistics, and seemingly irreconcilable perspectives. But there are many good — and passionate — people on both sides of the debate who try to tackle the issue seriously.
And then there is Arizona’s up-for-re-election Republican Governor Jan Brewer.
She has now come out with a statement that is a)beneath contempt b)not confirmed by data now or data from any year. Here is the news brief from the New York Times:
Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants entering Arizona are being used to transport drugs across the border, an assertion that critics slammed as exaggerated and racist. Ms. Brewer said the motivation of “a lot” of the illegal immigrants is to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug mules. Her office later issued a statement in response to media reports of her comments, saying most human smuggling into Arizona is under the direction of drug cartels which “are by definition smuggling drugs.” Oscar Martinez, a University of Arizona history professor who focuses on border issues, responded: “Unless Gov. Brewer can provide hard data to substantiate her claim that most undocumented people crossing into Arizona are drug mules, she must retract such an outrageous statement.”
This fits in with the entire national trend on how politics is now “discussed” right down the line. It’s sheer demonization — stemming from a growing belief that if you say something angrily enough and discredit those on the other side of an argument you win the argument. Proof, schmoof.
Outrageous is an understatement — but the way politics is trending these days Brewer will likely be rewarded with re-election.
Question: are GOPers looking at the demographics on the county’s Hispanic population and the likely impact on future elections?
It now seems a galaxy away from the days when Jeb Bush, George Bush, and Karl Rove tried to woo Hispanic voters.
FOOTNOTE: We’ll update this if there is proof of what Brewer says and Martinez gets an answer from the Governor’s office. Her statement implies that most illegal immigrants are de facto drug traffickers.
In other words, this post will never be updated.