On Sunday, New York Times reporter Randal Archibold offered up more of his slanted reporting on Arizona's pending new immigration enforcement law, suggesting that supporters of tough immigration enforcement are fostering fear by exaggerating the problem of violent crime on the border with Mexico: "On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas." But does his evidence stand up? Two conservative writers say no, pointing to FBI statistics that show crime has increased substantially in towns outside major metropolitan areas and rural counties.
When Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, announced that the Obama administration would send as many as 1,200 additional National Guard troops to bolster security at the Mexican border, she held up a photograph of Robert Krentz, a mild-mannered rancher who was shot to death this year on his vast property. The authorities suspected that the culprit was linked to smuggling."Robert Krentz really is the face behind the violence at the U.S.-Mexico border," Ms. Giffords said.It is a connection that those who support stronger enforcement of immigration laws and tighter borders often make: rising crime at the border necessitates tougher enforcement.But the rate of violent crime at the border, and indeed across Arizona, has been declining, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as has illegal immigration, according to the Border Patrol. While thousands have been killed in Mexico's drug wars, raising anxiety that the violence will spread to the United States, F.B.I. statistics show that Arizona is relatively safe.