During a semi-recent hearing of a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) eagerly joined the proceedings, though his state is… not on the southern border. Besides the fact that undocumented immigration is often though obviously not entirely going to relate most directly to southern communities, the purpose of this particular hearing was to examine impacts in specifically that area, so Johnson was outside his rhetorical wheelhouse… which didn’t stop him.
Johnson began in part by asking the assembled witnesses whether they would characterize what has been seen with immigration as a crisis. The question was obviously meant just as fluff to bulk up his point… but one of those who answered accidentally undercut it. “Yes Senator, this is a crisis,” police Chief Kevin Hearod told him. “The more that are allowed to come in, obviously — and I’m a long ways from the border, but the more drugs that we have to deal with, the more crime that we have to deal with in our city.” Hearod works in law enforcement in McAlester… a city in Oklahoma, which is some 660 miles by car from McAllen, Texas, an actual border jurisdiction.
Also, Hearod just… claimed that. He didn’t provide evidence, at least in those remarks, even suggesting that more undocumented immigration meant “more crime” in such a specific sense, which on yet another front exposed the hollowness of what was transpiring.
And then it happened again. Johnson asked the witnesses about whether they’d experienced an uptick in undocumented immigrants sticking around in their jurisdictions and committing crimes, and the first to respond said, well, no. “We don’t see the large perceived violent crimes in our community,” Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls told the Senator from Wisconsin. “People are moving through. The problem we have and the reason we declare proclamations of emergency is because the transportation opportunities to leave the community… don’t exist.” Similar things actually kept happening, with a third witness saying he actually wasn’t professionally privy to substantive evidence of sex trafficking as Johnson described it.
Check out the hearing below: