A few years ago, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) told voters she'd heard about immigrants who were responsible for "beheadings" in the Arizona desert, a claim that the governor apparently made up out of whole cloth. The Republican later conceded, "That was an error, if I said that."
The moral of the story was obvious: don't make stuff up about border crimes; the claims are too easy to check. It's a lesson Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) didn't learn.
Sen. John Cornyn raised the specter last week that illegal immigrants are pouring across the Mexican border -- 300 per night in one spot, a rate that would command high-level attention in Washington and probably steer the debate over immigration policy and border security."Friend on border sez 300 ppl coming across his property every night. And Napolitano sez border is under control?" Cornyn wrote on his Twitter account, referring to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.Cornyn aides have declined for several days to identity the senator's friend or his location or provide any other substantiation.
Of course they did. If Cornyn's "friend" were correct, 300 illegal border crossings "every night" in one Texas location would be rather extraordinary. In fact, it's quite literally unbelievable -- if a senator knew of a spot in which nearly 110,000 illegal border crossings happen per year, presumably he'd let the Department of Homeland Security know where this "friend" lives so officials could improve security measures.
And yet Cornyn doesn't want to tell anyone who his "friend" is or where she lives. The increasingly far-right senator was willing to say the person is a woman who lives in "South Texas" -- a nice, vague response -- and that his anecdote "is not all that out of the ordinary."
But therein lies the point: a single spot in South Texas where there are allegedly 300 illegal border crossings "every night" would be extremely "out of the ordinary," which is why it seems likely that Cornyn, just like Brewer's tales of beheadings, wasn't being entirely honest.