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Debunking Border Safety Myths

There’s another debunked claim of border violence to add to the list: Talking Points Memo reports today on right-wing reluctance to let go of a story about a Mexican drug gang seizing land in Texas. Local law enforcement says the seizure never happened, and although some conservative immigration groups dismissed it, others are standing by the story. Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen, told TPM he had confirmation that the stories were true, but “the government doesn’t want this stuff getting out.”

Of course, claims of border violence overall have a tendency to be false. Time Magazine looked into reports of border violence in Arizona and found the Arizona border is actually one of the safest places in America, in part due to the law enforcement already in place along the border:

[T]he U.S. has real cops — not criminals posing as cops, as is so often the case in Mexico — policing the border’s cities and states. Americans and Mexicans may call their border region “seamless” when it comes to commerce and culture, but that brotherly ideal doesn’t apply to law enforcement. That’s especially true since state and local police are backed along the border by the thousands of federal agents deployed there. Thus the tough Arizona law — which seeks to allow local and state police to check a person’s immigration status, a provision that Judge Bolton agreed opened the door to racial profiling by officers, and requires immigrants to carry their documents at all times — was sparked by largely unfounded fears.

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