As Obama fundraises in Texas, Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer fires back over illegal immigration
A few hours after President Obama's latest immigration reform speech, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer responded sharply, saying she hoped the Democrat's trip to El Paso, Texas was not just "about locking down votes in 2012."
Knowing full well that's exactly what the long trip and speech were about.
Earlier Tuesday within a cartel shot of the Mexican border, Obama called for comprehensive immigration reform to show impatient Hispanic supporters that he's trying to deliver on all those past promises of a path to citizenship.
Even though the Democrat has no intention of introducing such legislation and knows full well that if he did, it would never pass this Congress.
Obama claimed the porous border with Mexico has never been safer, thanks to additional agents.
(UPDATE: No wonder the president's El Paso remarks sounded like a campaign speech. They were. By evening a video of the complete 24-minute speech from MSNBC's broadcast had been distributed to millions of Obama supporters via email. Along with, of course, the opportunity to donate in U.S. funds.)
As Obama went into his second Democratic fundraiser of the night in Austin (dinner only $35,800 per plate), Brewer's office launched her short salvo (full text below).
Brewer said the president should have accepted her numerous invitations to visit Arizona, where she said nearly half the country's border apprehensions occur.
And where, the Republican state chief executive added, he could have met with frightened ranchers and law enforcement officers "who are frequently outgunned by the heavily-armed cartels."
"Everyone can agree our immigration system is broken," Brewer stated, adding:
Any reasonable fix will require the good-faith efforts of state leaders, members of Congress, local officials, the business community and the White House. But the people of America won’t be fooled again. They know that any talk of a path to citizenship is simply amnesty by another name. And they’re smart enough to recognize a political ploy when they see it.
Brewer and the Obama administration are also facing off in court over an injunction to halt enforcement of parts of the state's 2010 illegal immigration law, SB 1070. Scroll down for Brewer's full statement.
Obama aides said the president was expected to collect about $2 million from the two Austin fundraisers, before retreating back to Washington aboard Air Force One in time for Wednesday night's poetry party.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.
Response to the president's immigration speech by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, as provided by her office
After two years of waiting, I am glad the White House has chosen to focus on immigration. But I remain skeptical. It would be a shame if this effort is more about locking down votes in 2012 than securing our nation’s border today.
First, the President should have come to the Arizona border, where I have invited him repeatedly. He should have spoken to our ranchers, who live with drug-runners and human-smugglers crossing their lands. He should have met with our law enforcement officers, who are frequently outgunned by the heavily-armed cartels.
Nearly half of our nation’s border apprehensions occur in Arizona. Our state remains America’s gateway for illegal immigration, and we continue to bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure on this issue. If the President felt confident in declaring the border secure, he should have come to tell the people of Arizona face-to-face.
Everyone can agree our immigration system is broken. Any reasonable fix will require the good-faith efforts of state leaders, members of Congress, local officials, the business community and the White House. But the people of America won’t be fooled again. They know that any talk of a path to citizenship is simply amnesty by another name. And they’re smart enough to recognize a political ploy when they see it.
I’m afraid today’s announcement is simply more of the ‘promise something, do nothing, blame someone’ political spin we’ve become accustomed to hearing from Washington. That would be a shame. ####
Photo: Michael Schennum / Associated Press (Brewer); Bob Pearson / EPA (Obama speaking at one of two Austin party fundraisers).