Az. Gov. Brewer Wants Fences, Obama Pushes for Immigration Reform
June 3, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer led up to her meeting with President Obama on Thursday with tough talk, pledging to “see [Obama] in court,” if and when the Department of Justice legally challenged the controversial anti-immigration law SB1070. Brewer claims her state is “overrun” with illegal immigrants and her solution is to sign a draconian, discriminatory anti-immigration law, while hollering for extreme efforts to secure the border, with more fences, surveillance drones and National Guard soldiers. But she refuses to support comprehensive immigration reform, as do most Republicans, especially Arizona lawmakers Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl.
As Brewer left the White House today and held a brief press conference, what was striking was her disrespectful tone. She refused to refer to President Obama, as “the President” or “President Obama.” Instead she referred to the President as “him” or “he.” And Brewer snidely implied that Obama hadn’t read SB1070, while she pointed out that well, he sure was smart enough to understand it though.
Brewer told reporters that she had a “cordial discussion” about illegal immigration, and “agreed to try to work together” and become “more closely coordinated in our efforts and information.”
“People from the staff are coming out to Arizona in a couple of weeks to brief us on what their projections are going to be,” said Brewer. She said Obama assured her that the majority of National Guard forces would be deployed to Arizona.
But she made clear that she had no interest in comprehensive reform. “We talked about a pathway maybe to better immigration reform that he feels very very strongly about,” she said. “I’ve indicated at that point in time we’ve been promised that information previously and it wasn’t successful and amnesty was instilled upon people, but we never secured the borders.”
Brewer told reporters she wanted to see construction started on a new fence, but was unable to get a commitment from Obama. “I tried to get that information today. I was not successful,” she said.
Asked if she believed President Obama understood SB1070, Brewer replied, “He’s a well-learned man and a lawyer.” “If he read the law, sure, he understands the law,” she added.
When asked if she believed Obama had read the law, she just smiled and refused to answer.
Regarding the expected DOJ lawsuit challenging the law, Brewer responded that Obama “brushed over” ongoing efforts by federal attorneys.
The White House released a “readout” statement of the meeting, characterizing it as “a good meeting,” in which “a range of critical issues of mutual interest, including the President’s comprehensive plan to secure the Southwest border and the unprecedented resources his Administration has devoted to that effort.”
Obama reiterated his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, noting that merely securing the border won’t solve our broken system:
“As he did at the recent meeting with Senate Republicans, the President underscored that security measures alone won’t fix the broken borders, there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform that includes: lasting and dedicated resources by which to secure our borders and make our communities safer; holding unscrupulous employers accountable who hire workers illegally and exploit them and providing clear guidance for the many employers who want to play by the rules; and requiring those who have come here illegally to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, and get right with the law.”
And Obama’s statement indicated his continued concern with Arizona’s harsh anti-immigration law, which makes it a state crime to be in the state without residency papers:
“Regarding Arizona law SB1070, the President reiterated his concern with the measure, including that a patchwork of different state immigration regulations around the country would interfere with the federal government’s responsibility to set and enforce immigration policy.”
Photo Source: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza