Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, (R) best known for signing her state’s anti-immigration “show me your papers” law, has capitalized on the influx of undocumented migrants coming across the border in order to fundraise for her federal political action committee (PAC), Jan Pac. In an email sent out on Thursday titled “Abandoned in Arizona,” Brewer asked supporters to sign a petition telling President Obama that they were “outraged” that federal officials were transporting undocumented immigrants from Texas to Arizona. She also asked supporters to donate money to Jan Pac, which paid for the message. As it stands, federal officials have had to use a “warehouse” in Arizona that has not been used in years to accommodate the influx of migrants. The majority of these migrant crossers are between the ages of three and 17.
Brewer wrote in her email, “I have demanded President Obama provide reasoning behind these appalling practices, but the only response I have received is an unsettling message that the end to this operation is nowhere in sight.”
“Although Obama can overlook my pleas, he cannot ignore the unified demands of the citizens of this country,” Brewer added. “I ask that you take action today, not only to help end this appalling practice, but to bring respect and security back to our communities. …With every name that is added to this petition, we are one voice closer to achieving the security we are entitled to. If we continue to let ourselves be walked over, Arizona will become the battleground it is starting to resemble. We must seize the opportunity now and start fighting if we want to redeem our state before it’s too late.”
Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, “who has informally advised Brewer on various issues,” told the Arizona Republic on Thursday that he felt that Brewer’s solicitation was inappropriate. He said, “I would hope that the first reaction of our leaders would be, ‘How can I help? What can we do to help these scared and defenseless children that have found their way to our state?’ Instead, to have people trying to raise money on the crisis is just the same old politics. The first reaction of our state’s leaders in a humanitarian crisis should be to solve problems and to help children. Instead, the first second and third (reaction seems to be, ‘How can I get a political advantage out of this?’ Anyone who would respond to a fundraising plea based on the plight of these children ought to examine themselves as well.”
Officials estimate that somewhere between 60,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children will come to America this year in order to flee violence and extreme poverty in Latin America. Last weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials transported about 1,000 unaccompanied minors from Texas to Arizona because the number of immigrants overwhelmed Border Patrol there. Federal authorities were using the “warehouse” in Nogales as a way station where children are “vaccinated and checked medically” and Brewer has been asked to immediately ship medical supplies to the center.
In one of two recent letters sent to President Obama, Brewer accused the President for encouraging “this massive influx,” adding, “what consideration is being given- and what is being done- to determine if any of these illegal aliens have criminal histories or gang affiliations?”
Other immigration-restrictionists have similarly exploited the border crisis for fundraising purposes. The anti-immigration organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) sent out a fundraising email on Tuesday syaing that, “illegal immigration of aliens under 18 is up an astounding 367% at the Rio Grande Valley since 2011. FAIR went on record predicting waves of illegal immigration when the Obama Administration began enacting an administrative amnesty. It’s time we put a stop to this anarchy–donate today.”