Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told an audience at a virtual town hall meeting that the terrorist group known as the Islamic State is actively collaborating with Mexican drug cartels and that the groups could eventually attack people in Arkansas. Cotton is running against Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate. Cotton’s remarks echo the latest talking points from both the organized anti-immigrant movement and the organized anti-Muslim movement in this country.
“The problem is with (senior U.S. Senator from Arkansas) Mark Pryor and Barack Obama refusing to enforce our immigration laws, and refusing to secure our border. I’ll change that when I’m in the United States Senate. And I would add, it’s not just an immigration problem. We now know that it’s a security problem. Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism.
“They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas. This is an urgent problem and it’s time we got serious about it, and I’ll be serious about it in the United States Senate.”
The remarks come on the heels of Frank Gaffney’s national security summit, ACT! for America’s attempts to rebrand and several other efforts on the right to conflate immigration and national security issues and, generally, just scare people before they go to the polls next month.
Read more about Cotton’s statement at the Washington Post.