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GOP Shifts Anti-Biden Rhetoric From Economy To 'Migrant Crime'

Sen. Katie Britt's response to President Biden's State of the Union reflects a palpable shift in Republican rhetoric away from attacks on the Biden economy and toward dire warnings about “migrant crime,” writes Paul Krugman in a New York Times opinion piece. This shift has in part been forced by the fact that the Biden economy is actually doing very well these days, with inflation receding while unemployment remains near a 50-year low. In political terms, the narrative of a bad economy seems to be fading.


Republicans need a new issue, Krugman says. And there really does seem to have been a surge in illegal attempts to cross the southern border. So there are strategic reasons for Donald Trump and his party to hype the dangers of migrant crime. The data just don’t show that there’s a crisis of migrant crime. Indeed, homicides surged in 2020 — a year in which Trump was still president and apprehensions at the southern border were way down. By contrast, in the past couple of years, the homicide rate has come down even as border activity has increased. So what do you do when the numbers don’t support your dystopian fantasies? You zero in on the most horrific individual stories. Based on the available evidence, however, immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.

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