Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today welcomed Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino’s new letter to House Judiciary Committee Rep. Lamar Smith correcting committee member Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s repeated falsehoods about border-area crime and Nogales public safety. Mayor Garino’s letter includes accurate crime statistics from local law enforcement that show Rep. Chaffetz was either mistaken or purposely misleading the country when he claimed in a House Judiciary Committee hearing that Nogales is awash in violence and not safe for residents.
As the letter shows, while Rep. Chaffetz claimed burglaries in Nogales went up 82 percent between 2009 and 2010, burglary actually decreased 18 percent over that time. While he claimed grand theft auto had risen 72 percent in the same time period, auto theft in fact decreased 30 percent from 2009 to 2010 and decreased another 25 percent from 2010 to 2011. A full comparison is available in Mayor Garino’s letter at http://1.usa.gov/OMBt8x
“I requested these public safety figures from Nogales law enforcement officials some time ago to show the country that our conversation about border communities is based on a lie,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Border communities, including Nogales, are among the safest in the country, and anyone who claims otherwise is misinformed, making it up as they go, or misleading their audience for political reasons. I welcome Mayor Garino’s letter and join him in inviting Chairman Smith, Rep. Chaffetz, and the House Judiciary Committee to Nogales to see for themselves the exemplary work our law enforcement is doing to keep the city the safe and secure community it has been for many years.”
Rep. Chaffetz used similarly misleading figures in a 2011 letter to President Obama on border policy. He has yet to explain the discrepancy between his figures and what the Nogales Police Department – which he claimed as his source – provided in response to his accusations.