Brewer set to tell Obama: Do more

2010-06-03T00:00:00Z Brewer set to tell Obama: Do moreHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
June 03, 2010 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she already anticipates her response when President Obama details all his administration is doing to secure the border.

"It isn't enough. It's not working," Brewer said.

Brewer said she believes a "sit-down, face-to-face conversation about securing our border" with Obama will produce results. "We haven't had that opportunity," the governor said in advance of today's scheduled meeting at the White House.

The governor said she wants details from Obama about his latest plans for improving border security, including more about how many of the 1,200 National Guard troops he plans to deploy to the Southwest will be in Arizona and how he plans to use an additional $500 million he wants Congress to approve.

She also wants to know if Obama plans to complete fencing along the border and whether there will be additional aerial support.

"If not, then I want to give him my proposal," Brewer said. "And that includes all of those things."

The administration has responded to criticism of its border-security efforts by providing a list of everything that has changed since Obama took office more than a year ago. That includes more Border Patrol agents, intelligence analysts and equipment.

The White House said the president wants to provide those details to the governor.

Brewer said about 1,000 people cross into Arizona illegally from Mexico each day.

"We are paying the price for the illegal activity; we're paying the price for the incarceration; we're paying the price for the education; we're paying the price for the health care," the governor continued.

"People don't feel safe in their houses," Brewer said. "We cannot continue down that path."

The Department of Homeland Security responded that statistics show crime is down in border communities, while the numbers of arrests and seizures of illegal drugs are up.

Brewer and Obama also are likely to discuss SB 1070, which requires police, when practicable, to question those they have stopped for some other reason about their immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person is an illegal immigrant. Obama has criticized Arizona for enacting its own law. But he also has conceded the federal government has failed in its responsibilities to secure the border.

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