AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Politicizes Border Violence in Arizona

Last updated on February 3rd, 2013 at 02:58 pm

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Drug Related Border Violence

Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer is desperately using yesterday’s drug related border violence to justify her draconian and perhaps unconstitutional law. Of course, the two have nothing to do with one another and her law is not going to address drug trafficking or border violence in any way other than to escalate the level of engagement by automatically escalating the threat to the drug smugglers.

The Arizona Central reported this morning that a police officer was shot during a confrontation with drug smugglers on the border:

“Five men suspected of smuggling drugs across the border ambushed a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy Friday in a remote area south of Phoenix, underscoring the border-related violence that has catapulted Arizona and its new immigration law onto the national stage. “Here we see the tactics have changed and become more dangerous,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said. “This has reached a critical mass for law enforcement.” Babeu said he has “called out for help” from federal officials to no avail. He said smugglers know “the police are after them and the fact they are firing upon us changes the game.”

Gov. Jan Brewer also weighed in, saying in a Twitter message sent out Friday evening: “Our thoughts & prayers go out to the Pinal County Deputy shot during a stop. Contrary to what some leaders say, our borders are not secure.”

Pinal County Lt. Tami Villar said Friday’s incident “sends a very powerful and loud message that we have a problem.” She added that the shooters are Hispanic men who “appear to be undocumented.” “

I’m not sure how one appears to be undocumented and hence, the problem the nation has with her law. Cue the public outcry, cut to her desperate tweet this morning attempting to use this violence to justify her absurd law. This is the old Republican stand by: Razzle Dazzle with Fear and Terror.

GOP Platform: “Dear Country: Your Terror Alert Level is Level Orange. Pardon Us While We Illegally WireTap You Now. And Never Mind That Illegal War, oh, and Show Us Your Papers So You Don’t Get Shot.”

Brewer is using drug related border violence to justify a draconian and perhaps unconstitutional law, but the two have nothing to do with one another. In fact, in the video below the reporter says, “he (Officer Pinal) was tracking the five suspects as they transported marijuana and other drugs…”

So if Brewer wanted to deal with this issue, she should’ve written a law dealing with drug trafficking and undocumented fire arms, not people who “look undocumented”. Hey, I’m just assuming she’d want to narrow the field down to the dangerous folks if her argument is the threat of violence.

Plus, this would allow us to have a discussion about profiling of undocumented weapons, which would be a lot more entertaining than the current discussion as America morphs into a “show me your papers” state.

Brewer assumes the shooting justifies her new controversial immigration law, but she does not prove this argument and the facts don’t support her argument. Let’s reverse this: Can Brewer prove that the border violence did not occur due to the aggressive stature Arizona has taken against illegal immigrants? One of the reasons no one has suggested stopping and searching people previously is a) a lack of resources and b) it automatically escalates the level of engagement with each attempted stop, as there is more at risk for an illegal immigrant. While these cowboy Galtists imagine this to be a good thing, automatically increasing the level of engagement right off the bat is not a good thing. It leads to deadly force and no one wins.

Brewer attempts to blame Obama for this violence by suggesting that “contrary to what some leaders say, our borders are not secure”. The right is always using the threat of violence and danger to justify removing more of our rights. They did this during W’s reign of terror and they continue it now. Brewer is using this tactic of fear to create panic in the constituents. Panicked people want big Daddy to take care of them and the Republican party has always represented Big Daddy, the patriarchal protector who knows best. They use this subconscious desire that we all have for a Daddy to protect us by insinuating that Democrats can’t protect us, are weak, etc. Hence Brewer’s insinuation that Obama doesn’t even know our borders aren’t secure. Yes, some people are dumb enough to believe that the President has not been briefed on the national security issue of our borders. Sigh.

Drug smugglers and illegal immigrants are not always the same entity by a long shot, but Brewer’s logic assumes that they are since she is using drug smuggling violence to justify a law about stopping anyone who appears undocumented. Does a drug smuggler “appear undocumented”? Why, I would suggest that their legality would be the least of the issues most pressing for law enforcement. Sure, drug smugglers getting busted is a good thing, but it is not the same thing as keeping illegal immigrants out of the country. Brewer doesn’t want the reader to realize this.

The drug smugglers will continue to get in like they always do. And they bring violence with them. Is Brewer trying to target this group? If so, she could have tailored her law to drug smuggling activities, weapons, etc. In fact, just imagine the uproar had she suggested that police stop and search anyone who appears to be carrying undocumented firearms? Oh, the outcry of the second amendment activists would be deafening. Somehow it’s OK to infringe on those other pesky rights, but don’t you dare go near that second amendment by even suggesting that we might go after undocumented weapons. Shiver me timbers.

Yes, that might separate the wheat from the shaft were it really drug smugglers Brewer were targeting and we can’t have that. That might work and we all know how Republicans hate it when government works, as that defies their entire raison d’etre.

Of course, the reality is much different from Brewer’s picture. Contrary to Brewer’s bumper sticker tweet, President Obama knows about the border issues—one of the most challenging aspects about immigration reform is the implications of Mexican drug/gang violence for our borders. This is actually one of our larger national security issues, but one that will require more thought than knee-jerk pandering to white supremacists and over-simplified, jingoistic, dare I say epic failure “Drill Baby Drill” solutions. Obama understands this. These are complicated issues that require reasonable people who are putting the good of the country first (for more on this, see “There Was a Day When” Republicans and Democrats agreed on how to tackle this issue).

Even Bush grasped the necessity for immigration reform and tried to get it done. It’s sad when Bush begins to look reasonable and moderate in comparison to the modern day Republican. Shame on Brewer for politicizing the drug related border violence in an attempt to justify her unconstitutional and impractical law.

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