White House immigration summit, Brewer not invited

Posted on April 20, 2011


As the governor of a southwestern border state which is currently suing the U.S. government for failing to secure that border, you’d think Jan Brewer might get an invite to Tuesday’s immigration meeting with the President as a way of extending an olive branch in proof of searching for a “bipartisan” solution to our immigration woes.  Such is not the case:

PHOENIX – President Obama held an immigration reform meeting at the White House Tuesday, inviting several officials from other states, but declined to invite a representative from Phoenix — a city most would argue is at the forefront of the immigration debate.

Gov. Brewer definitely noticed the omission.

“I heard about that last night on one of the news stations, that this is taking place, and it is my understanding that no border governor was invited… I wish I had been invited. I think I could have lent some interesting ideas and facts,” she told us.

“I would tell him the issues that our citizens are facing in regards to our border not being secure… I was a little disappointed because it’s something I’m concerned about and if I could bring awareness to the White House in an effort to bring a solution… not being invited is disappointing.”

Which Republicans did get the golden ticket to see the Wizard of Immigration Reform? None other than the former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Martinez, both who are now out of elected office and both who have been on the pro-amnesty side of the illegal immigration issue. 

Other Arizonans who weren’t invited but might have been able to provide some insight into the immigration problems facing the country include Sheriff Paul Babeu and Sheriff Joe Arapaio.  Both of these law enforcement officials see the problems that illegal immigration causes in the community on a daily basis.  Babeu even recently testified about these very issues in front of a Homeland Security Committee.  So why no invite for him?  Maybe it’s because he also testified that border patrol agents have been directed to not arrest illegal immigrants they may encounter but to turn them back south (TBS) to Mexico.  This claim is certainly contoversal, but it has received a lot of support by former and current border patrol agents.

In short, every Arizona representative who may support Arizona’s SB-1070 law was snubbed by the White House.   The only Arizona official to get an invite was Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor who has been a critic of SB-1070. 

But should we really have expected President Obama to really reach across the aisle and listen to people with different opinions than his own?  Not really.  His administration is still suing Arizona over SB-1070 (probably on its way to the Supreme Court) and has asked for the presiding judge to dismiss the suit brought by Governor Brewer against the feds on their failure to secure the border and enforce immigration laws.

President Obama is really not interested in reaching across the aisle to find a solution to the illegal immigration problem we have in this country.  What we have here is a political ploy to rally his left base for the 2012 election.  If the president really were interested in this issue,  he would have tried to pass something when his party had control of the House, Senate and White House during the first two years in his presidency.  With Republicans now in control of the House, many of whom are farther right than in recent history, the odds of getting any type of immigration reform President Obama wants are slim to none.

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Posted in: Arizona