Last week, the House Homeland Security Committee held a markup of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) used the opportunity to fear-monger on immigration, claiming that “roughly 40 percent” of undocumented immigrants are “not Mexican.” Many of them, he said, are of “Middle Eastern” or “Asian” origin and pose a “national security problem.” He added, “I don’t think they’re coming here to cut our grass or work in our chicken plants.” Watch it:
Not surprisingly, Broun’s facts are wrong. Today, Al Kamen writes in the Washington Post:
Actually, the official stats for FY 2007 show slightly less than 7 percent are OTMs, or “Other than Mexicans.” The ASICs, or “Aliens from Special Interest Countries” — most anywhere in the Middle East and a chunk of South Asia — totaled 297. That’s three-hundredths of 1 percent. Still, it’s not zero, so let’s continue.
This is a national security problem. I’m told by people who are involved in helping just monitor the border that roughly 40 percent of the people that are intercepted crossing our border are not Mexicans.
Some of these people that are coming across the border are from other Central and South American countries. But there is quite a large number of people that are coming across the border that are of Middle Eastern origin as well as Asian origin.
A lot of these are single; they have no families. I don’t think they’re coming here to cut our grass or work in our chicken plants. So I think it is an extremely important issue that we must solve.