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  • Writer's pictureJack Alford

Republican Lies About The Border, Immigrants, and Fentanyl

The October 31 issue of the Austin American-Statesman contained a Politifact article entitled "GOP misleads voters in fentanyl ads." The article fact-checks one of the stock Republican lies being repeated in this election cycle, related to the tragic increase in Fentanyl overdoses over the past several years. You've heard it -- it usually goes something like this:

"Joe Biden willfully flung the border wide open, and now there's an invasion of thousands of brown-skinned criminals, and each one of them is coming with as much fentanyl as they can carry, to kill good MAGA voters, so they can replace us and vote for Democrats." (OK, you probably won't read anything quite that explicit -- I translated some of the "dog whistles" into more explicit text that says what they really mean.)

Politifact does a good job of debunking all these claims, and exposing as liars anyone who makes them (i.e., pretty much every Republican candidate for every office in the land -- even for elected positions that have little to do with border security or drug enforcement). Yes, the number of Fentanyl overdoses and deaths are up -- they have been rising since before Biden was elected President. And Yes, the majority of illegal Fentanyl originates in Mexico. But it's not being carried over the border on the backs of individual migrants -- the vast majority enters through legal ports of entry, hidden in cars and tractor-trailers. And No, Biden didn't institute an "open border" policy -- we still have thousands of border patrol agents on duty, using physical barriers and surveillance technology to apprehend and turn back thousands of would-be migrants every month.

Reading this article is a good exercise in critical thinking -- understanding how a grain of truth can be distorted into a scary narrative that has little connection to reality. The Republicans lead with false claims about Inflation, Crime, and Immigration, because they have little else to run on -- and the fear and anger generated by these topics distract from their lack of meaningful policy in other important areas -- including climate/environment, education, health care, reproductive rights, and access to the vote.

Read the full Politifact article at the Austin American-Statesman website. And of course, if you haven't already done so, please VOTE for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot!

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02 nov 2022

You said it, Jack. Especially the part about "...understanding how a grain of truth can be distorted into a scary narrative that has little connection to reality." That's the Republicans' stock in trade!

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