Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mullins Tries to Disarm Land Mine Remark

by Michael O'Brien

According to reports from the Associated Press and Huffington Post, Republican congressional candidate Tom Mullins suggested the use of land mines along the U.S. border with Mexico. The comments were reportedly made while Mullins was running in the New Mexico GOP primary, a race he eventually won. The comments were made during a radio interview and Mullins has attempted to back track on his statements.

Over the last several years, Right Wing talk radio has ginned up fears of an immigrant invasion stemming from Mexico and Central America. Painting a portrait of criminal hordes flooding the border states, the invasion mythology has gained some traction even among some legitimate news outlets.

The invasion myth was partially debunked in recent reporting by the AP citing data from the US Border Patrol and FBI. The AP analysis shows a drop in violent crime in four major border cities and a sharp reduction in violence against border agents.

The problem for Mullins and other Right Wing, anti-immigrant candidates is that once it’s squeezed out, the toothpaste is almost impossible to put back in the tube. At a time when the GOP is gasping for votes among Hispanic and immigrant communities, Mullins has added fuel to a xenophobic fire that is driving moderate voters towards Democratic candidates.