Arizona Governor Brewer: Most Illegal Immigrants Are Drug Smugglers
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is making comments that critics are calling racist and uninformed.
Brewer said the motivation of “a lot” of the illegal immigrants is to enter the United States to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug “mules.”
“I believe today, under the circumstances that we’re facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in,” Brewer said.
“There’s strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel,” she said.
Brewer’s office later issued a statement in response to media reports of her comments. It said most human smuggling into Arizona is under the direction of drug cartels, which “are by definition smuggling drugs.”
There are no number to suggest that Brewer’s comments are factual, and they sound quite racist and ill-informed. University of Arizona history professor Oscar Martinez challenges Brewer to provide hard data. And Mexican Senator Jesus Ramon Valdez calls Brewers’s statements racist and irresponsible.
“Traditionally, migrants have always been needy, humble people who in good faith go looking for a way to better the lives of their families,” Ramon Valdes said.
A Border Patrol spokesman said illegal immigrants do sometimes carry drugs across the border, but he said he couldn’t provide numbers because smugglers are turned over to prosecutors.
“I wouldn’t say that every person that is apprehended is being used as a mule,” spokesman Mario Escalante said from Tucson. “The smuggling organizations, in their attempts to be lucrative and to make more money, they’ll try pretty much whatever they need.”
T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents border agents, said some illegal border-crossers carry drugs but most don’t. People with drugs face much stiffer penalties for entering the U.S. illegally, and very few immigrants looking for work want to risk the consequences, Bonner said.Click here for reuse options!
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