Nebraska state senator Charlie Janssen (R), a candidate for the 2014 gubernatorial race, says that one man’s horrifying crime should motivate lawmakers to crack down on all undocumented immigrants.
Last week, authorities reported that the person charged for the brutal rape and murder of a 93-year-old woman may be an undocumented immigrant. Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charlie Janssen (R) quickly linked this case to immigration reform, an issue that affects millions of the undocumented living and working in the U.S.:
He expanded on those views in a letter to the editor, saying the crime is “undeniable evidence that our borders are not secure.” “The result of the federal government’s failure here — not only criminal violence but human trafficking and drug smuggling — has cost our state immeasurably,” he wrote.
It’s a myth that immigrants are more violent than the native-born population. While immigration opponents highlight anecdotes of immigrants committing crime, data show immigrants have far lower crime rates than the American-born population.
Known for his harsh record on immigration issues, Janssen shows no signs of apologizing. He is responsible for introducing Arizona-style “show me your papers” bills and attempting to repeal in-state tuition for DREAMers, twice, but the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board has called his latest comments a step too far.
“Clearly Janssen has no compunction about making a sweeping and damaging generalization,” the Journal Star wrote. “By painting immigrants with such a broad brush Janssen does a disservice to genuine and productive discussion of immigration policy, which people on both ends of the political spectrum agree is a mess.”