LatinaLista -- The two largest issues of the 2012 political campaign that are marked with the most misinformation, misunderstanding and misleading rhetoric are immigration reform and border security.
In a very clever strategy to not oppose outright the issue of immigration reform -- an issue supported by a vast majority of Latinos -- GOP politicians have regurgitated the same excuse over and over again -- "there can be no talk of immigration reform until the border is secure."
TX Gov. Rick Perry and presidential candidate takes questions during a S. Carolina Town Hall meeting.
The assumption in this usage is that a secure border means undocumented immigrants can't easily cross into the United States.
A secure border in this sense has been realized. Reports, research and analysis, from both sides of the border, show that undocumented migration into the United States from Mexico has dwindled to almost nothing.
Articles done by major news outlets interviewing Mexican citizens' intentions to come to the US illegally find the desire has dropped to historic lows.
For all practical purposes, the border is secure but now before talk can begin on comprehensive immigration reform, GOP politicians are redefining what it means to secure the border.
This was crystallized when Gov. Rick Perry was in South Carolina recently for a Town Hall event, before he remembered he was governor of a state being ravaged by wildfires and left the campaign trail.
Perry, in an effort to explain his stand on immigration reform, began his political spiel in an all too familiar style -- "We can't have a discussion about immigration reform unless you secure the border."
Perry went on to say that Obama was lying about the border being safe. To prove his point, he went on to describe the cartel violence happening down by the border. The only problem was he forgot to mention that the violence is happening on the Mexican side.
The violence that does permeate to the US side takes the form of stray shots fired from cartel members during their shoot-outs in Mexico. There's no denying that cartel violence has literally shut down many border towns -- on the Mexican side!
But life goes on as always on the US side. In fact, the Rio Grande Valley region is prospering. Recently, a new $7.2 million University Center was opened that is home to eight different universities offering 23 Bachelor's, 23 Master's and one Doctorate degree program.
Businesses are sprouting all along the border.
However, as long as GOP politicians insist on bundling cartel violence with border security, they are purposely obstructing comprehensive immigration reform from being discussed in Congress because they know the violence from Mexico is not going to end anytime soon.
Not to mention, the violence that is happening in Mexico is on Mexican territory. No action can be taken by the US, unless invited by Mexican authorities, to interfere with it. To do so would be an act of war on the part of the US.
It's not only disingenuous but dishonest of these politicians to hold the US accountable for Mexico's violence, especially when the story is a much different one on the north side of the border.
A story these politicians are not willing to admit.