Friday, July 15, 2011
USA Today released on Friday an in-depth analysis of FBI crime data revealing that rates of violent crime along the U.S.-Mexico border have been declining for years. The analysis uses more than a decade of crime data compiled by more than 1,600 local law enforcement agencies in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas showing that “U.S. border cities were statistically safer … and have maintained lower crime rates than the national average.” This investigative report stands in stark contrast with politicians’ accounts of a border out of control and overrun with violence. Simply put, the political rhetoric does not match the border reality.
Amid a growing national debate about immigration, Americans keep hearing the Washington mantra of “Border security first. Then address immigration reform.” This shortsighted argument not only ignores the fact that, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has stated, “the border is as secure as it’s ever been” but it has become a stumbling block to much-needed discussions on how to effectively reform our immigration system. The National Immigration Forum has compiled an extensive Resource Guide with information on border security for members of the press.