When defending her highly criticized immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) often lists the myriad problems she says undocumented immigrants bring to her state. In an interview on Fox News last week, for example, she claimed: "We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, everything from the crime and to the drugs and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings ..."
There's no better way, it seems, to make the case for strict anti-immigration laws than to claim that undocumented immigrants are pouring into the country to decapitate innocent Americans. But just because she says it on television doesn't make it true.
Brewer nonetheless stuck by the claim that undocumented immigrants are murdering Arizonans when asked about it last weekend on a local Arizona political show.
"Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there, that have been beheaded," she said.
The anchor notes that he couldn't find "any beheadings in any kind of news search."
The Arizona Guardian followed up, asking the state's county coroners -- who would examine any body connected with a crime -- if they'd seen the headless bodies from the desert.
(Although one coroner, gruesomely, told the paper they did sometimes get human skulls-- but not as a result of a fatal beheading. Such skulls are found after people die in the desert and "the animals ... get a hold of them and start moving their body parts around," the coroner said.)
Asked for comment, a spokesman for Brewer told the Guardian said the governor had never said anyone was beheaded inside Arizona. "I'm not aware of any statements where the governor specifies where any crimes were committed," he said, despite his boss having made exactly that specific claim on two different news programs. On the contrary, he claimed that Brewer was talking about the fear that crimes that occur in Mexico could spread to Arizona."That report, which is based on other news reports, suggests that the drug cartels who operate on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, have not beheaded their victims," the spokesman, Paul Senseman, told Politico. "Even a cursory check of news stories on the internet suggests otherwise." Perhaps his boss should have done one before appearing on news programs to make such a claim.