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As Obama fundraises in Texas, Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer fires back over illegal immigration

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer 5-9-11Well, that didn't take long.

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 said she suspected the president's trip was just more of the familiar "promise something, do nothing, blame someone’ strategy of this White House.Austin Texas Obama at one of two Democratic Fundraisers 5-10-11

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

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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).

Comments () | Archives (20)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I realize that the recent census probably had the same usual questions. However, my question is - how can we use census data that simply counts "residents" NOT citizens for designating representation in our government and apportionment of our tax dollars? This blatantly counts any resident equally whether legal or not and citizen or not. Where has the value of being a U.S. citizen gone?? An illegal "resident" vote counts exactly the same as a citizen's vote in our elections without the requirement of proof of citizenship.

Why on earth would you even consider wha Jan Brewer has to say about immigration reform? As an Arizona voter I can assure you she is the biggest embarassment we have in this state. She has no thought about (notice I use the singular tense as she has only one thought) the hispanis heratige of AZ and the fact that Mexico is AZ's largest trading partner. She just wants to make a splash in the media. She has no thought about what to do with the illegals in the state that support the state by paying taxes. She says she wants to protect the citizens of this state from illegal immigrants. She is only interested in protecting Phoenix from the fact that this state is a bi-lingual, bicultural state and some of us are proud of it. What we need is a workers program so those Mexicans who want to come to work in AZ can do so legally. Then the US Border Patrol et al can concentrat on the criminal element. We don't need more fences, we don't need a larger presence on the border. We are proud of our hispanic heratige here in Tucson. That is why we are asking to succede from the state of AZ and establish a rational state here in the southern half of AZ.

Well now, a road to citizenship is just amnesty... What seems to be the most reasonable road for those who have been in this country for years is fixing the border control, work visas, employer responsibility, etc. all of which have been the reasonable approach to the issue of illegal immigration for years, over several congresses and over several administrations. I just read a synopsis of Hugo's "Les Misérables". I commend this tale to the author of the opinion piece. Perhaps it would lend new perspective to Mr. Malcolm's thinking on the matter.

Why should the President go to Arizona, there not going to vote for a Democrat. Also there are a bunch of Birthiers in the state house anyway.

Why aren't we enforcing the 14th amendment and stopping Anchor Babies?
Illegals come here have Anchor Babies at no cost to them but at great cost to the American tax payer only to be more of a burden when the Anchor Babies become wards of the state and their Illegal parents collect Welfare on their behalf and become more of a burden to the American taxpayer.
This situation is really ridiculous when you realize we are actually paying Illegal criminals monthly incomes to raise American children. I don't agree with birthright citizenship but the fact is, criminals are getting paid to raise American children.
If you really want to stop illegal aliens from entering this country stop birthright citizenship, Stop Anchor Babies and stop Welfare to illegal aliens children. Stop the freebee's and they will stop entering.
It's really upsetting when I can no longer afford health insurance and the Illegal Aliens are driving Cadillac Escalaids, receive food stamps, medical care, and monthly incomes because we "pay" them to have a dozen kids.
Equally upsetting is we educate them and they can't legally have a job here. Why don't we educate our legal American kids instead of giving College tuition to illegals?
I could go on but you get the point!

Why isn't she getting on the Republicans in Congress. When they controlled congress and the White House illegal immigration was at it's worst.

In the last two years Obama has tossed out more illegals than Bush did in eight.

It's up to congress to fix it but the Republicans don't want to as many of their financial backers employ illegals.

Why isn't she getting on the Republicans in Congress. When they controlled congress and the White House illegal immigration was at it's worst.

In the last two years Obama has tossed out more illegals than Bush did in eight.

It's up to congress to fix it but the Republicans don't want to as many of their financial backers employ illegals.

Posted by: affableman | May 11, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Namely because she wasn't the governor at the time. And while Janet Napolitano was governor of AZ she complained about border security to the feds and got the same reaction Brewer does now. But as soon as she was tapped to be the Sec. of Homeland Security she sure changed her tune.

Good for Jan.
I have no respect for rich sell out Presidents.
And for the comment above, it is a damn shame that people think it is OK for Arizona to be a bilingual State. This is America. Learn English or go home. Quite being lazy and ignorant. Assimilate! This is the melting pot of the world. It consists of ALL races. Not just Mexican. It will NEVER be Mexico again so get used to it or leave! And take your Anchor Babies with you because most Americans do not consider them American citizens. They belong to Mexico, but we pay for them like fools!


You are forgetting the AMERICAN prescence in Arizona. Americans built Arizona. Yes, Hispanics have contributed and have always been here. But you have NO clue about the history of AZ to make such a statement. MOST of AZ was NOT POPULATED, except for a very long time ago by native cultures that had died out. Spanish Missionaries got as far as Tucson (as if that place matters much now!). There were no "Mexicans" in Phoenix or most of AZ until Anglos came and needed labor. At that most of the influx of migrants started coming in 30 and 40's. So your point is based on ignorance of reality. We are shutting down the AZ/Mexico border and later we will pass reform. That reform will include eliminating birth right citizenship which has been abused by Mexico and other sending countries.

OK, you guys need to grow up on the moderation of comments. Wonder why you only have 6 comments right now? It is not your right to censor. Get over your egos. This is a blog. Nothing more.

Gov. Brewer has the courage and resolve to do something about a national problem that exists in her state for which she is responsible. Keep up the good work Gov. Brewer and all the states that challenge the federal government when they try to run their state. How dare any federal government tell any state citizens what and how they are to govern. Barack has done nothing.... spreads cow manure, stinks up America and then walks away without cleaning it up. That's the same as some one whos full of it and doesn't know how or is defiant about resolving serious issues in a way that please true red blooded Americans. Instead, Barack wants Americans to accept his dictatorship type policies. When we elect people to represent us and they speak, which they have spoken on this issue and Barack continues to push his agenda...that's a sign of a dictator.

The federal government announced that schools now cannot determine citizenship of any child while registering for school. This is unbelievable and makes anyone question Baracks agenda for this policy. Remember his affiliation with ACORN, convicted of voter fraud? Does the fact that he's catering to hispanics and nonAmericans, many who are illegal, seem to have a hint of corruption here.

It's time he quit spending our tax money on flying our plane around, using gas, staff and government resources to campaign. He blatantly did that while people are hurting for jobs and desperate to find a way to support their families. He's demonstrated by his actions... he doesn't care, otherwise he'd be conserving our tax dollars, gas and our resources and working on creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

We can give him the change he keeps talking about.... a change of residence. Vote responsibly in 2012....register to vote....then vote for a responsible person other than BO. He's demonstrated his irresponsibility and all but damned our children's and grandchildren' financial future. It's time for a change alright.

If our Government is dumb enough to allow this illegal madness to occur then I'm done paying my medical bills. If illegals can do it so can I. Sue me I don't care what are you going to get if I don't have anything to take.

Governor Brewer is doing what she can to uphold constitutional law by securing our border with Mexico. Whether or not illegals are working to make a better life for themselves is beside the point when you understand that they are here illegally by their own will and are taking resources that are for the benefit of legal citizens. Don't try to make anyone believe that they are doing the jobs Americans won't do because we all know that is incorrect. The system is not broken it just isn't enforced. Illegal aliens are criminals as soon as they step foot in this country without permission. If they did it 30 years ago it doesn't change the fact that they are still criminals and have been for 30 years. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage but if you are an American then you would also be proud to be one and proud of this country's heritage. The problem with illegals is that they have no respect for our laws, heritage, culture, and language. Legal immigrants assimilate into our ways and become Americans like the rest of us. They learn the language and respect our laws. These are the same Hispanic-Americans that are against open borders and don't like illegal immigrants. I know plenty of them and they are embarrassed by the onslaught of illegals coming into this country. In my opinion, for whatever it's worth, the President is more concerned about getting re-elected for a job that he has proven he is not fit to do. Without a doubt he has been more of a detriment to the American way of life and a danger to what we all uphold as the most important document ever written..."The Constitution of the United States of America". As far as being a citizen you would think that he would have produced his birth certificate when he was asked the first time. Why the cover up? Why the delay? I know that every other American applying for a job needs to show proof of citizenship so why wouldn't he? It doesn't make any sense but with the barrage of half-truths and blatent un-truths offered by this administration it's no wonder everything said is questioned anymore. I think it's time we start following the constitution and living by the foundation created by the founding fathers before political correctness and handouts destroy whats left of this once great nation.

I was a proud Anchor Baby and I think that myself and others have contributed greatly to making this country great.

The southern border has never been more secure.

The best television shows in history have been reality programs on cable.

New Coke was a brilliant marketing strategy and terrific product.

Foreign leaders respected and feared Jimmy Carter more than any other recent American president.

The Lakers carried themselves like true champions during their playoff series against Dallas.

Will the Citizenship Clause be practicable in 2040? Either 2040 or 2050 was the date which statisticians estimated the Latino population would overtake the caucasion population. Each illegal immigrant who gives birth to a child in the U S is entitled to a job permit and aid to illegal immigrant's children. After the child reaches 18 yrs old, he/she may petition for their parents green card The Congressional interpretation of the Citizenship Clause provides an ongoing amnesty. The illegal alien parents had no background checks before they became permanent residents. President Clinton had signed "rolling amnesties" while anchor babies got their birth certificates. The flow of drugs into the U S continues unabated while our government said that the number of illegal border crossers has substantially declined. Recently, authorities rounded up a group of about seventy illegal immigrants in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Our government can not turn their back on the border the way they did before Arizona enacted SB 1070.

Obozo thinks that somehow he can make empty promises to the hispanics for immigration reform and they will magically turn out and vote for him. He appears totally ignorant of the racial politics that propelled his unqualified, useless self into the White House will flip on him, should a Mark Rubio or other latino politician chooses to sell snake oil to the unwashed masses. Preaching to the and standing at the border of the most dangerous city in the world only makes him look Nero fiddling while Rome is burning.

Here's a question for those of you who feel U.S. immigration laws are unfair: What do you think would happen if MILLIONS of Americans would sneak into other countries around the world, work under the table, have kids in order to get public assistance, and demand the same rights as citizens of those countries?? We would be jailed & deported. Anyone who thinks otherwise is ignorant.

Let's take a look at the biggest source of illegal aliens in the United States. Mexico enacted Reglamento de la Ley General de Poblacion — the General Law on Population in April 2000, which mandates that federal, local and municipal police cooperate with federal immigration authorities in that country in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Gee, sound familiar?)

Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.

The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.

Anybody wonder why Hispanic/Latino groups so vehemently oppose enforcing U.S. immigration laws & securing our borders? Of course no one wonders why they do. The reason is obvious - their demographic has the most to lose if the federal government does its job. And, why is that? Could it be because the vast majority of people living in the U.S. illegally just happen to be Hispanic/Latino, thanks to the convenience of our porous southern border? If we bordered a country in Eastern Europe or Asia, their groups would be protesting because their people would have the most to lose. An estimated 1 MILLION people enter the U.S. across our border with Mexico illegally every year. Tell me how that is "right".

I leave you all with this: Let your elected representatives know how you feel. If you don't know how to, go here:

Do some research. Or, is ignorance truly your bliss?

Steve you are really a ignorant racists fool. I'm a proud fifth generation American and bilingual. I'm learning Italian now (language number 3), because I love speaking different languages in freedom and in this grand melting pot of a country.

Steve, you are ridiculous and obviously an idiot. America HAS NO OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. You can speak whatever you want. You're just lazy and don't want to bend for anyone else. Explain to me why just about every country in Europe speaks multiple languages AND they have better education and intelligence levels? LANGUAGE FLEXIBILITY enhances comprehension and academic capability, it's been tested and shown time and time again. You obviously don't know what you're talking about.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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