Arizona governor responds to immigration reform concerns

Gov. Jan Brewer on dealing with issue


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, forget the cuts that are not happening. Focus on all of those illegals who apparently aren't leaving. To hear some angry Arizona town-hallers giving their 2 cents to one John McCain this past week, that argument that illegals will be politely moving to the back of the line as they queue themselves up for citizenship is a bunch of you know what.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer shares their concerns. The governor joins me right now.

Governor, what do you make of that? And, furthermore, we just had Tom Donohue from the Chamber of Commerce saying he likes this idea that at least both sides are cobbling together something that will move a lot of these folks to citizenship, and the Chamber endorses that.

GOV. JAN BREWER, R - AZ: Well, you know, I believe that the people of Arizona strongly believe that they need to get in the back of the line and do it the way that everybody else has done it.

Bottom line, Neil, is that we know that we need a work force. You know, there could be work visas, but not citizenship. I think the majority of the people do not support that, and I think it's going to be a hard push. And I don't think any of it's going to happen until the border is secure.

CAVUTO: You know, there are so many compete ideas out there, Marco Rubio's, and of course the president's with smatterings we hear from all the different players.

But one thing that is consistent is this promise that the illegals who are here will simply have to move to the back of that proverbial line, but if it is an eight-year plan, as Tom Donohue from the Chamber was saying, you can go through this process now. As an outsider coming in, to legally go through all the hoops, it could take two decades or more.

So, by definition, at least some could be moving ahead of those who are doing all the things right legally. Right?

BREWER: Absolutely.

And there's a process. There's rules, and they ought to be followed. And because you break the law, you ought not to be excused and be give special -- and be given special privilege. I think basically that's the sentiment of the majority of the people in the United States. They can get a work visa. There's some way they can do it.

But the pathway to citizenship by jumping in front of other people and making special conditions I don't think is going to sell very well. I know that everybody is trying to solve a problem, but it's not right.


BREWER: It's not fair. And I don't think that the general population is going to go for it.

CAVUTO: Then what did you make of John McCain's argument to this town-haller, who said, we got a wall? A wall is up. We're moving along on enforcing that border and policing it. And this guy obviously didn't buy it, this critic of the senator's.

Do Arizonans just have the view that we're just dropping the ball on enforcing and looking after our border?

BREWER: You know, Neil, once again, our border is not secure. Our fences aren't completed. We don't have enough people on the ground.

I was just down there last week. I went with the National Guard. I was in a Black Hawk. I saw them staging on the other side, the drug cartels ready to come across in the middle of the night. And it is not secure. The ranchers will tell you, if you sit down and talk to them that they're fearful that the border patrol is too far north. They need to get closer to the border because they let them go so far, and then they just sort of blend in, and they're destroying their land and they're destroying their cattle. They're destroying their water. They're frustrated. And I believe that until the ranchers, law enforcement is satisfied and they tell us that that border is secured, there's not going to be a whole lot of movement.

CAVUTO: So, a promise on the part of the administration to secure the border or tighten the border in order to go along with a deal, you need more than that?


BREWER: We need operational control.

They could...

CAVUTO: All right.

BREWER: They do operational control in a lot of areas. Why they won't do it in Arizona is beyond me.

CAVUTO: Governor, thank you. Good seeing you again.

BREWER: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Governor Brewer, all right.

Content and Programming Copyright 2013 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.