Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Falsely Claims “Most Illegal Immigrants” are “Drug Mules”

Even as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) remains hard at work to find the wrong solution for a mythical problem, she seems to have time to spread information and make statements so ludicrous that calling them falsehoods seems too lenient. At a Republican gubernatorial primary debate last week, Brewer criticized her opponent’s statement that many undocumented immigrants “are just trying to feed their family…they just want to work,” by calling majority of undocumented immigrants “drug mules.”

During the debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer stated:

We are a nation of laws. And they are coming across our border illegally. And the majority of them in my opinion and I think in the opinion of law enforcement is that they are not coming here to work. They 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, Matt. That is the truth…

To be clear, Brewer stated that the majority of immigrants are coming here to bring drugs, extort people, and terrorize families. The statement was so absurd and patently false that she attempted to walk it back in a later press release, but then proceeded to make it worse. Brewer released a press statement which lacked a single apologetic word, choosing to simply re-word her previous statement. Even noted border-hawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) disagreed with her statement (while supporting her actions in general). Brewer’s lack of remorse is almost as troubling as her penchant for ignoring reality.

E.J. Montini of the Arizona Republic had a more level-headed response: go talk to the Phoenix police department about what should be done.

Brewer correctly points out that Arizona has a problem with drug smuggling, drop houses, kidnapping and extortion. There is a special unit within the Phoenix Police Department fighting those crimes. For a column a while back I asked a Phoenix police spokesman what living in the world’s so-called “kidnapping capital” means for the average Phoenix resident.

He said, “We’re talking about drop houses where people who have used coyotes to get into the country may be held for ransom. And we’re talking about the kidnapping of smugglers and associates. I have no fear that my kids or grandkids will be victims. Or that E.J. Montini will be a victim.”

Even T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council commented that Brewer’s claims were “clearly not the case.” According to CNN:

Bonner said that some undocumented immigrants caught by border patrol agents have drugs on them, and that they sometimes blame pressure from the drug cartels. But, he said, those claims have little credibility because drug smugglers are typically transporting much larger quantities of drugs. And besides, he said, if what Brewer said were true, there would be many more prosecutions for drug smuggling. Brewer’s comments, Bonner said, don’t “comport with reality — that’s the nicest way to put it.”

Despite Brewer’s ignorant comments, the facts show that not only do immigrants commit fewer crimes than citizens, but that crime rates have been falling in Arizona for years. It is sad, but perhaps unsurprising, that Brewer would make these comments in the wake of signing SB 1070, Arizona’s harsh new immigration law. It’s bad enough that Brewer ignored these facts when signing SB 1070 into law, but it’s worse that she continues to do so.


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  • Benito

    I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

    I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

    Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.

  • jshuford

    I find it odd that a sizable portion of another country’s population lives within our borders. I find it even more remarkable that people find our actions reprehensible because the citizens here want some kind of accountability from these foreigners. The United States has gone to great lengths to accommodate these foreigners into our society so much that even without proper identification or proof of citizenry these foreigners have complete and unbridled access to every social program in the United States. The people and Government of the United States have gone so far to accommodate these foreigners that we are required to have every document produced here in their native tongue.

    I am for an Amnesty program that would close our open borders to the south and and at the same time I think that ALL foreigners need to register and pay into our tax programs that pay for their way of life!

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