Based on Governor Jan Brewer’s perception, it is abundantly clear that tourists should avoid visiting Arizona. Brewer continues to sound the alarm bells, as she did in a recent interview with Fox news. She claims that Hispanic “jihadists” are stirring up trouble within her own backyard as these illegal immigrants terrorize her state.
Brewer is warning the Fed's, and anyone else who will listen, that if you follow the yellow brick road you will find gun-fighting, drug-smuggling and beheadings on your way north of the border. Based on her alarming assessment, it makes me want to rethink residing in a state that is so vulnerable to the vicious attacks perpetrated by illegal immigrants.
Brewer paints a picture that is vastly different from the image that many have of a reality of desperate, poverty-stricken Hispanics crossing the border. This is a pathetic picture of people looking for a better life in a country built on a foundation of immigrants from the richness of diverse cultures. With the signing of SB 1070, Arizona's new law to rein in illegal immigrants, Brewer has portrayed an ugly scene, filled with terrorism to justify the bill. If you follow the yellow brick road, you have to wonder who has lost their heads, other than the governor.
Brewer lives in a fictitious world of altered realities. There are no heads lying in the Arizona desert. She got that fact mixed up with Al Qaeda of Iraq. The only gun-slinging is on the Mexican side of the border related to drug cartels feuding over who will continue to nurture the self-medicating habits of this country's druggies.
Contrary to Brewer's rhetoric about the heightened horrific criminal actions of illegal immigrants, border violence in Arizona has dramatically decreased over the last several years. Also, there is a marked decrease in the number of immigrants actually attempting to enter Arizona since 2005. According to the federal government, border security has doubled in Arizona in the last few years.
Brewer has learned to promote the GOP talking-points effectively; if you spin lies repeatedly, some of them will stick as people will begin to believe them. It is human nature to try to justify one's behavior, especially when it is of questionable integrity. It was not enough for Governor Brewer to pass SB 1070, a law that has the teeth to implicate anyone of Hispanic origin. She felt the compulsion to defend it, by portraying Hispanic immigrants as vicious, vindictive people who present a threat to our own national security. Ironically, Brewer has sought to inflame the fears of those who already support the bill.
Without a doubt, true immigration reform is needed. But that necessity has nothing to do with the reactionary response created by right-wing racists in Arizona. We didn't need SB 1070 for Sheriff Joe Arpaio to continue his relentless pursuit to round up illegal immigrants and send them back to Mexico. Arizona's GOP political policy-makers have shown no interest in genuinely pushing for real immigration reform. They would rather pontificate and posture about plugging the holes in border fences.
If you follow the yellow brick road, you won't find much violence in Arizona. What you will discover is desperate, illegal immigrants seeking to find a way into this country to create a better life for themselves and their children. It is a sad reminder of the severe poverty that continues to exist in this country and abroad. As we reflect on our country's independence, it is a sad tribute that we violated people’s civil rights throughout our history. With the oppression of Blacks, Native Americans, Jews and the Japanese after World War II, we have a tarnished legacy of abuse. Governor Brewer, with her lies and deceptions, provides one more reminder that minorities of any ethnicity, race and creed are still not safe in America.