If you were to believe the political rhetoric about the security situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, you would probably never want to live there. It is regularly described as a lawless war zone, not a place where regular people go to work and raise families. Recently, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer spoke of â€œmurder, terror and mayhemâ€ on the border and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wanted to send more National Guard troops to â€œsecure our border and allow (our citizens) to lead lives where they not live in fear.”
This negative and fearful vision of the border has led to punitive policies of strict enforcement and militarization that do not reflect the reality of border life and the needs of its inhabitants. Statistics clearly show the border to be one of the safest areas in the nation, one without an increase in crime for several years.
But what do people who live there think? The Border Network for Human Rights decided to find out by commissioning the first opinion poll of border residents from San Diego to Brownsville, asking them: Do you feel safe living on the border?
The results of the poll, conducted by the independent Reuel Group, Inc., show that people who live on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border feel safe in their communities.