Yesterday, the Center for American Progress hosted “In Search of Secure Borders,” an event assessing the federal government’s effort to control illegal migration. One of the panelists, state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — an outspoken critic of Arizona’s new immigration law — sat down with Wonk Room to discuss some of Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R-AZ) recent statements indicating that she believes that the majority of undocumented immigrants who cross into the U.S. are drug mules “doing drop houses and they’re extorting people and they’re terrorizing the families.”
SINEMA: Well it’s just not true. And while some might find it politically expedient in the short-term to be loose with the facts or make allegations that aren’t based in fact, I think that’s unfortunate. In the political process I think it’s healthy for us to have a variety of opinions. And we certainly should have a robust debate about the ideas. But we’re not entitled to our own facts. And the bottom line is the facts she uses not only this week, but in previous weeks, are just not true. […]
WONK ROOM: Why do you feel you can say that and Jan Brewer can’t say it? What’s the difference between you and Jan Brewer?
SINEMA: Well, I believe in facts.
Sinema also told Wonk Room that not only is it not true that the majority of undocumented immigrants act as drug mules, it’s also not true that the majority of people in our jails are undocumented persons. “That doesn’t mean that border crime and interior crime isn’t a serious problem,” stated Sinema. “But I believe that problem is serious enough without making up facts.”
Brewer has also defended her decision to sign off on SB-1070 by stating that Arizona is “under siege” by Mexican drug cartels and undocumented immigrants and has repeatedly slammed the federal government for not securing the border. However, SB-1070 only deals with people who have already crossed the border into Arizona and does nothing to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants and drug cartels alike. Meanwhile, recent reports reveal that the border has only become safer in recent years.
In the past, Brewer has also claimed that her father “died fighting” the Nazis — despite the fact his death came 10 years after World War II had ended.