Last week, news broke that Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) erroneously claimed that the majority of undocumented immigrants “are coming here and they’re bringing drugs” during a primary election debate on June 15th. She also stated on Fox News that SB-1070 is a “good bill” that’s necessary because of the “drugs, and the kidnappings, and the extortion, and the beheadings.” This past weekend, on a local Arizona political show, Brewer defended her remarks, explaining that police have found beheaded bodies in the desert:
HOST: Which beheadings in Arizona were you referring to?
BREWER: Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert — either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded.
HOST: Well, we hear from politicians in the course of this debate on national news there’s a picture of Arizona that seems to be far from what many folks experience. I could not find any beheadings in any kind of news search in Arizona.
After investigating Brewer’s claims, the Arizona Guardian found them to be completely unsubstantiated. Local medical examiners told the paper they have “never heard” of beheading attacks in Arizona. A spokesman for Brewer commented, “I’m not aware of any statements where the governor specifies where any crimes were committed” and indicated that Brewer must have been referring to beheadings that have occurred in Mexico which Brewer is trying to prevent from spreading to Arizona.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has also often conflated violence in Mexico in an attempt to argue that U.S. border is not secure enough to undertake comprehensive immigration reform. However, what both Brewer and McCain fail to mention is the border is reportedly safer than it’s ever been. Indeed, the fact that U.S. violent crime at the border has been steadily decreasing during the same time period that thousands of people were being kidnapped, murdered, and beheaded in Mexico attests more to just how secure the U.S.-Mexico border is.