Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer finally got what she's been asking for since President Obama was elected, a chance to sit down and discuss immigration.
In what she described as a cordial Oval Office meeting, Governor Brewer says she and the President determined they both need to better coordinate their immigration efforts. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in his daily briefing the Governor's "got a point of view that you have to do border security first. The President has a view that we have to have comprehensive immigration reform." Something Brewer does not dispute when she told reporters after the thirty-minute meeting, “I believe people of Arizona, people of America want the border secured and then we can take up other issues.”
Brewer and the Obama administration have been at odds with each other on the subject of immigration since late April, when the Governor signed what is considered one of the nation's toughest immigration laws which enables police officers to question individuals they suspect may be in the United States illegally. According to a statement released by the White House, President Obama discussed with Brewer his opposition to the Arizona law. 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." The Department of Justice has indicated it might challenge the Arizona law as being unconstitutional. While the lawsuit subject was broached between the President and his guest, Governor Brewer says the President brushed over the issue. "He indicated that he was leaving that up to the department of Justice and did not want to discuss that in any kind of detail today," Brewer told reporters.
One of the things Brewer would like to see happen soon is construction of a permanent fence along the Arizona-Mexico border. She says she did not succeed in getting a timetable from President Obama but he did promise to send White House staff members to Arizona to discuss the distribution of over 1,000 national guardsmen and millions of dollars for immigration resources, something the Governor says is "encouraging" adding to reporters "now, I hope that's not wishful thinking. I hope that is positive thinking."