GOP candidates love to talk about “securing” the border, especially Rick Perry. “It is not safe on that border,” the Texas governor said recently; last year, he even claimed, without any evidence at all, that bombs were exploding in the streets of El Paso. But “those of us who actually live along the border know otherwise,” writes El Paso judge Veronica Escobar, in the New York Times, noting that last year El Paso was ranked among America’s safest cities.
Politicians like Perry “use the bogeyman of border violence to justify exorbitant security measures." Perry, for example, championed security cameras that have caught just 26 people in two years—while costing $4 million, money that could have been spent on essential but undermanned land ports. What’s more, this careless rhetoric scares people away from a vibrant city. El Paso has much to offer, but “none of that seems to matter” when it’s “made the symbol of our supposedly broken border."