It’s been hard for Arizonians to explain some of the stuff that's been happening in their state since April, when Gov. Jan Brewer decided to pass legislation that would brand all illegal immigrants as state criminals. A few days later however, the Governor delivered another shocker, alleging that all illegal immigrants were drug mules.
According to Gov. Brewer, carrying drugs in backpacks into the United States is not all that these illegals are doing. They are also, in her own words “doing drop houses, extorting people and terrorizing families.” According to Gov. Brewer, Mexican drug cartels have taken over the immigration business in that country and are converting illegals into drug mules.
The governor has since clarified her unfortunate statement, but it does little to help erase the damage the statement has created. Branding an entire generation of people, who are in this country only to make a better life for themselves, as being involved in the drug trade, is not just taking things too far, but is also an irresponsible statement for an elected representative to make.
Politifact.com last week published enough evidence to show that Governor Brewer is wrong. According to the website, statistics from prosecutions by the Department of Homeland Security show that drug trafficking charges involving immigrants accounted for just 5% of prosecuted cases, while the remaining 95% were all immigration-related charges. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, crime rates across the state of Arizona have actually dropped over the past few years. In fact, the number of arrests involving Hispanics is actually declining, in spite of the fact that this section of the population is increasing in size. So much for all the vitriol about massive mobs of Hispanic criminals taking over Arizona.
To New Jersey immigration lawyers, this kind of rhetoric only underscores the uphill battle that many ethnic groups coming from south of our border, face as they attempt to make a life here. This kind of vitriol takes what could have been a civil debate about immigration, and turns it into a xenophobic attack on an entire community. At this point in our nation's history could very well do without such hate-mongering.