Gov. Brewer: We Can't Continue to Be the Gateway for Illegal Immigration

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, we are live in beautiful Arizona, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is here to go "On the Record." Good evening, Governor.

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ.: Good evening, Greta. And welcome to Arizona!

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you. It's a little bit of a cold snap. What is it, over 100?


BREWER: It's over 100, probably about 105.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is really hot here.


VAN SUSTEREN: Anyway -- all right...

BREWER: It's dry heat.


BREWER: It's a dry heat.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh. I just hope I make it through the show with this heat. All right, two weeks ago, though, you were in my neck of the woods. You were in Washington, D.C., and you were at the White House, meeting with President Obama about illegal immigration. He said he'd get you some information within two weeks.

BREWER: He did.

VAN SUSTEREN: Two weeks is up tomorrow. Did you get that information?

BREWER: We have not received that information up to this moment. We're hoping maybe by tomorrow, we'll have some definite information.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing at all?

BREWER: Nothing. There's been some communication between the White House and my office, but unfortunately, we don't have any details to share with you all tonight. I'm hoping that by tomorrow, we'll have it and we'll come back and let you know firsthand.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they give you any indication that they're, you know, really working up a big plan and tomorrow's the big day, that they're really going to have it tomorrow?

BREWER: Well, you know, that's hard to predict, dealing with them. They've been a little evasive, of course. I felt kind of that I should have been the recipient of information when I was back there two weeks ago. It's not like it's something that's been new on their agenda, something that we've been writing about and talking about, and he pronounced that he was sending troops to the border and sending money. And all I got from him when I was back there, actually, was, you know, that we would get the majority. The majority is constituted in what numbers, I don't know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there are two things. One is the substance of what you need and what you've asked for. But the second reason why I'm a little bit curious is, is because, you know, is that he's met today with British Petroleum -- British Petroleum about the terrible catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.


VAN SUSTEREN: And it's been described to me by someone inside the meeting as, that he was very serious about it. And I'm sure he was. He was serious with you?

BREWER: He was.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the reason I ask (INAUDIBLE) make sure that, you know, when he's serious, that you know, he actually follows through.

BREWER: Well, we will keep pestering him. We will fighting for the people of Arizona and for the people of America. This is unconscionable, what Arizona is facing. We are certainly under attack by the drug cartels and by the drug smugglers, the human smugglers. It's out of control. It's totally out of control.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is it that you expect or hope he's going to give you by tomorrow?

BREWER: I would like to hear that he was going to give us -- I will - - what I'd like to hear and probably what I'm going to get is probably two different things. But certainly, I would like to hear that we would get all of the troops that he has said that he's going to send to the border into the state of Arizona. We are the gateway. Everybody in America knows that we're the gateway. Texas, New Mexico, California -- they don't have the issues that we have.

And they are coming through that corridor, the Tucson corridor, by droves. And they are not only coming through Arizona, a lot of them are staying, but they're going into everybody else's state also. I have information that we have tried to compile that over a thousand of the drug cartels have now been located in different cities of America.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know...

BREWER: That's unacceptable!

VAN SUSTEREN: It is unacceptable. And the reason I ask is that, you know, of course, we got another catastrophe. I don't mean to minimize that one in the Gulf of Mexico, where we have, you know, thousands and thousands of barrels of oil being poured into the gulf. That's a catastrophe. That's getting attention. Your state, which is sort of the -- is -- has -- is a gateway for so much crime, drugs, weapons and unhappiness that results from that, and it's not -- it's not getting the attention and you've been pounding them.

BREWER: Well, we have been pounding them and we're going to continue to pound them. And I really truly believe that all of America is going to keep pounding because I think the American citizens, the residents here in America, they understand the situation. They can read. They can watch TV. They know what's taking place. And they're now feeling the impacts of it in their own cities.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, in today's meeting with the officials from British Petroleum, Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano, who was the governor of this state before you became governor -- she was at that meeting because of national security issues, I assume. Was she at your meeting?

BREWER: No, she was not.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why not? I mean, she knows the problem as well as anybody.

BREWER: She does, and you know, she has turned a blind eye towards Arizona for whatever the reason. She understands the problem, and the problem has gotten worse. It's not gotten better, which they want to tell us. We know that it hasn't gotten better. It's something that they need to step up. They need to step up and do the job that they are responsible for. And we're going to continue sending that message out. I have encouraged everybody that I know in any manner that they can to contact the White House and let them know that we are not going to put up with it! America is not going to put up with it!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I don't mean to put salt in the wound about Governor Napolitano, now Homeland Security Napolitano, but it certainly seems that this is as much of a national security issue as -- and I don't mean to pit one catastrophe against another catastrophe...


VAN SUSTEREN: But it certainly seems that, you know, if the president assembled his cabinet for the gulf that maybe the president should assemble his cabinet to meet your problems here in this state because these are real problems.

BREWER: I think that the administration, on a whole, has tried to ignore the problem. Maybe they don't know how to deal with it. And if they don't, then they need to find somebody that can deal with it. It is a frustrating situation that we have been put into because they haven't did their job. And they're -- we're going to -- we're going to force them. We're going to force them to do the job. They're going to pay attention!

VAN SUSTEREN: Tomorrow's a big day. But...

BREWER: It is a big day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tomorrow's a big day, so we'll be anxious to see. All right, SB1070...

BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Goes into effect at the end of July.

BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: And then...

BREWER: July 29th.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess you got that memorized.


BREWER: It's a big day!

VAN SUSTEREN: It is. There are going to probably be some protests for and against this -- the law going into effect.

BREWER: Well, there probably will be, but I think that the majority of the people of Arizona, and again, of America, overwhelmingly supports senate bill 1070. It's a good bill and it's another tool for us to be able to use in order to get our borders under control. We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, everything from the crime and to the drugs and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings and the fact that people can't feel safe in their community. It's wrong! It's wrong!

VAN SUSTEREN: I read in your paper today that the autopsy report partial (ph) was leased for that rancher who was murdered in March, gunshots, but they have held back some information because only the killer knows some information about his manner of death, so they use it as a law enforcement tool. But it said in the article that the killers were tracked 20 miles into Mexico, and that the thought is that this was somehow cartel or drug smuggler or somehow some scout for the drug cartel, so the people right on that border -- that they're just in terror.

BREWER: Well, it has always been suspicious that it -- or the suspicion was that it was probably drug cartels. Mr. Krentz was a very good man. I did not know him personally, but from everyone that I have talked to about -- and I have (ph) met him, but -- everyone that I have talked to just said that he was a very genuine, good-natured, mild-mannered kind of person. And there has been indication that he was trying to make an attempt to help the immigrants, the illegals that were on his ranch that probably had been part of the -- of destroying his property, and something went wrong. Something went wrong. But our law enforcement have done a good job of tracking and they've got a lot of information. And hopefully, we'll be able to find out just exactly what did take place and what we can do in order to punish those people.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you talk about law enforcement -- we had the marshal for this district, for Arizona, on the air last night, and he brought some of the weapons. And there's so much firepower, you know -- you know, the weapons that the cartels have is bleeding over into Arizona. And I know -- and -- and of course, you know, the guns can -- there's a lot of question where the guns come from a lot of people. But regardless of the source, there's violence.

BREWER: There is violence, terrible violence. And they're not just little play guns. They're really big, strong, dangerous guns, AK-47s, et cetera, et cetera. And they will (ph) them through the deserts to control the crowds that they're taking through and to protect their drugs. They're gangs! And we know what has happened in Mexico with the drug cartels. They have intimidated cities and elected officials, and they have the power because they've got the money. And what they are forcing the spillover, I believe, over into our state. And if we don't get our borders secured, it's going to get worse. And we're not going to give up! We're -- we're...

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do you mean...


VAN SUSTEREN: Suppose the -- suppose you don't hear from the president tomorrow. Suppose his office -- that his representatives, his aides, they don't contact your office. Then what?

BREWER: Well, we're going to continue down that path of beating the path to the White House and fight back!


BREWER: In any manner that we can. We are not going to put up with it! We simply are not going to put up with it! And we will write laws! If the state of Arizona has to do the job the feds won't do, well, then, Arizona will have to do it! We love our state! We have a beautiful state!


BREWER: Beautiful desert! Beautiful people! And we love our state! And it is their responsibility. It is their responsibility! And dang it, they better do it! They better do it! They need to protect our borders!

VAN SUSTEREN: At 5:00 o'clock tomorrow, if you don't get the call, are you going to call him?

BREWER: That's a possibility.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about (INAUDIBLE) why don't you call Governor Napolitano? I would think that she would like to hear from you.

BREWER: Maybe I'll do that, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean -- I mean, you know her.

BREWER: I do. Oh, I do know her. I do know her. And she understands the problems and she understands the situation. And she has a responsibility as being secretary of Homeland Security to step up and give the right information to the President of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we'll be waiting to see what happens tomorrow, but we're going to take a quick break. Governor, if you'll stand by?


VAN SUSTEREN: In two minutes, we're going to have much more with Governor Brewer live from Arizona.


VAN SUSTEREN: We are back live in Arizona with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Governor, it's quite obvious that the states that are affected by this horrible catastrophe in the gulf are populated states. We've got -- we've got Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama. Those are the major states. Of course, the rest of the country's going to feel the pain, as well, over time. Do you think the size of your population has any impact on the level of attention you get from the federal government?

BREWER: Probably so, you know? Texas and California are heavily populated states. They have a lot of people there. Arizona...

VAN SUSTEREN: But do they get more? Do they get more on this illegal immigration issue?

BREWER: Well, they certainly get a lot more attention. They certainly get more money. And they certainly have received the blessings from the administration as far as getting their borders secured. Arizona has not. We only have six million people in the state of Arizona. You know, you compare that to California, you compare that to Texas, that could be a reason.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, except for the fact -- I mean, like -- let's assume for a second that Arizona -- I mean, you say that Arizona's the gateway for all this illegal immigration and that's...


BREWER: I'm not saying that! I'm a fact!


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, it is a fact. All right, it's a fact. It does -- it does spread to the rest of the country, so it does have an impact on the rest of the...

BREWER: It does.

VAN SUSTEREN: In fact, Senator McCain has explained it to us on many occasions, how it affects the rest of the country. All right, you had a debate yesterday.

BREWER: I did.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're up for -- you're up for election, I guess, because...

BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... you were elevated when -- when Governor Napolitano left the governorship...

BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... and went to Washington, you became the governor. So you had a debate last night. How was that?

BREWER: I think I was the winner!


VAN SUSTEREN: You're not biased, are you?

BREWER: Would I say anything else?

VAN SUSTEREN: No, I just wondered if you're biased or anything.

BREWER: Well, you know, I'm leading in the polls, and so I'm on the - - on the -- on the attack by my opponent. And so I have to be very defensive and so -- but it was a very (ph) success, and I think the people learned a lot. They learned a lot about my opponents and I hope that they learned a lot about Jan Brewer.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, if you win the nomination in August, in the primary, you'll go on probably against the current attorney general.

BREWER: Right.


BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, what's interesting about Goddard is that you -- I've also read today that you and Goddard have a little thing going. You've asked Goddard to step down from defending the illegal immigration statute.

BREWER: Well, actually, the legislature put into the statute that I would obtain my own counsel because Mr. Goddard has been on record of not supporting senate bill 1070. He has been on record saying that it was unconstitutional. And no person in their right mind, in my opinion, would hire an attorney that would scream from the courthouse that it's a bad bill, it's unconstitutional, and I'm going to defend you? I don't think so.

So what we have done is we have reached out. We've hired our own attorneys, a good law firm that will stand up and fight for us. We've got my legal team on my ninth floor that is working hard, long hours to get all the legal things together.

And now, as of today -- this is kind of breaking news -- we have opened up a new website that -- because so many people from around the country have been calling and e-mailing us, wanting to participate and see how they can help us. And so this is a legal defense fund that they can contribute to...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

BREWER: ... and they can just help us out on line.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any -- does Mr. Goddard -- does he object to stepping aside on this? Is he...

BREWER: Oh, absolutely!

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, he does?

BREWER: Oh, absolutely! He believes that by the constitution that he has the right to represent the state and that every lawsuit should go through him. The fact of the matter is, is he has stepped back previously and not represented state on other legislation that we've passed here, for English language learner (ph). So he wants it both ways, you know? It's a joke.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's sort of interesting because the two of you are battling over this and you're probably going to battle each other for the job...

BREWER: We will.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... in November. So this is going to -- this could get really ugly.

BREWER: Complicated.

VAN SUSTEREN: Complicated! Well, complicated is a better word than...


VAN SUSTEREN: And it's sort of interesting because as your poll numbers went way up over his numbers after 1070 was out in sort of the public domain, some of the discussion, because there's support for it here.

BREWER: Well, absolutely. I think the people of Arizona, they want a fighter. They want somebody that's going to do something. They just don't want talk. They want the job done. The bottom line is, is that I have been vocal. I have been fighting about immigration for a long time, from the time that I was on the board of supervisors, as secretary of state, and now as governor. This issue just didn't arise here in Arizona just yesterday. It's been here. We've been battling hard.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so who's going to win the issue of whether he represents you or not on the statute?

BREWER: I would believe that I would win.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're not biased, are you?

BREWER: No, well, but I've been to court several times and I've won them all. So I believe that we will. I feel very comfortable. The legislature said, you know, I could hire my own counsel. They made it very, very clear.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're tough!

BREWER: I -- I don't know if I'm tough, but I'm not a quitter. I tell you, I am not going to quit on this issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the tax issue here?


BREWER: Which tax issue?

VAN SUSTEREN: The state tax, the state tax was up one -- the voters here...



BREWER: Oh, well, you know, I did lead the campaign for Proposition 100, which asked the people to go and vote to raise temporarily a one cent tax, and they overwhelmingly supported it and it passed. And they knew -- the voters knew that Arizona's revenue needed a little boost to get us through the very worst recession here in Arizona since World War II. And we protected education and we protected public safety. We want educated people in Arizona! And we want to be safe!

VAN SUSTEREN: Any message for the president before we go? You got one (INAUDIBLE) look at the camera, tell the president anything?

BREWER: Mr. President, I'm waiting to hear from you tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that it's good news.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you, as always...

BREWER: Thank you!

VAN SUSTEREN: ... and thank you for letting us come to your state. Thank you.

BREWER: Well, enjoy your time here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.

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