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Brewer disappointed by meeting with feds

Gov. Jan Brewer said federal officials offered little of consequence and promised even less in a highly anticipated meeting to discuss Arizona’s border security issues.

Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to the media June 28 after emerging from a 90-minute meeting with federal officials on border security. She said she was disappointed by the outcome. (Photo by Evan Wyloge)

Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to the media June 28 after emerging from a 90-minute meeting with federal officials on border security. She said she was disappointed by the outcome. (Photo by Evan Wyloge)

Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard, who met separately with a handful of federal officials on June 28, painted starkly differing pictures of the federal government’s plans for securing Arizona’s border with Mexico.

John Brennan, a homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama, pledged in his meeting with the governor to deploy 524 National Guard troops to the border in the next two months, reinforce 22 miles of preexisting fencing and ask Congress for $600 million to hire 1,000 more Border Patrol agents and 300 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Brewer said.

The National Guard deployment was less than Brewer expected after a June 3 meeting at the White House with Obama, when the president told the governor that Arizona would get the majority of a planned 1,200-troop deployment. Brewer said she did not think the 524 troops were enough to secure the border.

“Certainly what we heard wasn’t anything of what we had hoped to hear from them,” Brewer told reporters in the eighth-floor lobby of the executive tower. “No really substantial information was provided that would make us happy or pleased with the discussions.”

Goddard, on the other hand, said the 524 National Guard troops was only a first step meant to provide temporary relief while the federal government formulates a larger border security plan.

“This is not the end of the game. This is just the beginning. This is a number that is meant to provide some stopgap relief. They made it very clear this is not the end of the show,” Goddard said.

Brewer abandoned the aggressive, defiant tone she has taken recently when talking about border security discussions with the federal government, and sounded somber and downbeat as she detailed her 90-minute meeting with Brennan and officials from U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol.

The governor said she wanted the White House to deploy 3,000 troops to Arizona, a provision of U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl’s border security plan. She also said the federal officials did not address a proposal she recently sent to the White House that calls for increased aerial surveillance and other security measures at the border.

Instead, she said, all they got was a Power Point presentation from the feds, who didn’t even provide the governor a hard copy of the information it contained.

“It was sad. It was unfortunate, I believe, that we did not receive the information,” Brewer said. “Maybe that was done purposely, maybe not.”

The governor was especially displeased that the White House is providing $310 million for anti-border crime efforts in Mexico while appropriating only $135 million for National Guard deployments in the United States.

Brewer’s characterization of the meeting was in sharp contrast to Goddard’s. The attorney general met the officials earlier in the day at the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Tucson office, along with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke and nearly two dozen border-area law enforcement officials. Goddard said more can be done but that the 524 National Guard troops was a good start, and said he was encouraged by the Obama administration’s pledge to draw up a set of border security benchmarks.

Goddard, the Democratic nominee for governor who will face Brewer in the November general election if she wins the GOP primary, said he was given the impression that the White House would complete the benchmark plan within the next several weeks.

“What they made very clear is this is a process, not a result, that they are continuing to evaulate how best to attack the strategic issue of border security and border crime, and they will be coming up with a comprehensive plan,” Goddard told the Arizona Capitol Times. “The urgency of the situation was well understood.”

Conversely, Brewer said Brennan and the other officials said nothing that gave her the impression that the National Guard deployment was just the first step in a broader plan. She said the National Guard would send 524 troops to Arizona’s border, but that the total number would be lower for most of the year-long deployment. The troops’s duties will primarily include surveillance and intelligence gathering.

In a press statement, McCain said that 524 troops are not enough to provide adequate security along the border.

“I know from first-hand experience that 524 National Guard troops along the Arizona-Mexico border is not sufficient to ensure the safety of the citizens of State of Arizona and protect its 370-mile border with Mexico,” McCain said in the statement.

Both Brewer and Goddard said they did not discuss the Department of Justice lawsuit that is being proposed against Arizona over S1070, the state’s strict new illegal immigration law.

Brennan was one of about 10 federal officials who met with Brewer, her top staffers and her security cabinet. Also attending were Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Alan Bersin; ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton; Bruce Swartz, an assistant attorney general with the Department of Justice; John McShane, an officer with the National Intelligence Council; Jason Mayer, a member of the president’s national security staff; and Brigadier Gen. Brian Bishop, deputy director for politico-military affairs at the Pentagon.

13 comments

  1. Why can’t Brewer jsut be honest?!? The troops are a good start, as Goddard says. But Brewer is doing what she does best–playing politics! It doesn’t really matter how much money or how many troops the feds send, she’s just going to complain because she’s trying to get elected and wants to seem tough. But honestly this is a good start. Thank you Terry Goddard for being honest about the situation–”It’s a good start” as you say!!!

  2. Brewer just keeps whining while other real leaders are working with the federal government to find solutions. I applaud Goddard and Giffords for working for Arizona and finding solutions. But Brewer and her whining need to go.

  3. It’s impossible to stop illegal immigration, it is impossible to deport 100% illegals, those are just fantasies. Hope that High Court will deal in a more intelligent way.
    share your opinion at http://immigration.civiltalks.com

  4. Who isn’t disapointed with the worthless Feds?

    And their Corporate Masters?

  5. No ammount of money or manpower would have led Jan Brewer to say, “Our border is now secure.” Her election bid depends on having that scarey border wide open and rife with beheadings. If she can’t scare people into voting for her, what else does she have? She certainly can’t run on her lousy record!

    No, Obama could have sent a million troops and Brewer would still be saying she was “disappointed.”

    Can’t wait to vote her out and vote Terry Goddard in.

  6. Jan Brewer wonders why Mexico gets more funds. Maybe because most of the border violence is in Mexico. Maybe because stopping the cartels there would make sure they don’t cross the border. Maybe because Mexico covers the entire southern border while Arizona is only one of four states on the north side of the border.

  7. About all Brewer got besides desk duty NG was some nice new signs in the desert. They say avoid the area due to smuggling and violent criminals, 80 miles north of the border and 30 miles from Phoenix. That ought to help those that live 70 miles from the border???

    I live 40 miles from the border. If I saw signs like that here I would shoot them full of bullet holes. That would offer greater warning than federal guvment BS. Now I have to carry weapons when I go out in my Jeep.

    Then you have former Governator Janet Napolitaco saying the border has “never been so secure”. Maybe she’s right, 80 miles north is not the border so that doesn’t count?

    If this wasn’t so serious, I’d be laughing. We are not laughing down here anymore. Too many bodies to laugh at. I don’t expect Barry to come down to AZ and visit anytime soon, after all, he doesn’t have “papers” either.

  8. Terry Goddard is just kissing liberal ***, as always. He has as little ambition to secure our borders as he has to enforce existing laws.

  9. After reading Obama’s security manifesto, you will finally understand were the man is leading us. He’s working to dismantle America and make our population part of an international order. Look on pg 12.

    Jan is interested, as are most Americans, to restore our Republic and forever embrace the fundamentals outlined in our Constitution. Most of us say NO, make that HELL NO! to world government.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf

    Can you believe the gall of these globalists? They are like communists on steroids. We are nearing the point of no return. I call for a military coup. A coup that should have occurred the minute we figured out Bush and Chenney, Perle and Wolfowitz etc. were destroying America. Outside of a military coup, or a well funded private patriot militia grand display of restoration and house cleaning, we are done as a country. What troubles me is the ignorance of law enforcement going along and enforcing things like “free speech zones”. I hope some Colonel or someone with big money like Clint Eastwood or Steven Spielberg, Steve Wynn, or Donald Trump make this happen and restore America to being the greatest sovereign country in the world…not the enforcement arm of a new world order of unelected tyrants.

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