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Don't believe the hype: Brewer/Obama meeting 'cordial'

Obama: Most National Guard likely on Az border

The media lead-up to Thursday's meeting between Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and President Obama would have you believe that some sort of ultimate showdown was about to occur.

The Washington Post said that the pair "brace for a tense meeting."

ABC called it a "face off."

Over at Fox, it was a "showdown."

"A very cordial discussion," was how Brewer described the meeting afterward.

So much for a Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Two Tribes"-style throwdown over illegal immigration, then.

"We agreed to try to work together in order to find some solution" to border security issues, the Arizona governor said after the meeting.

"We're going to begin some more direct dialogue in a couple of weeks. People from his staff are coming out to Arizona to brief us" on the Guard deployment and $500 million in border spending, Brewer said.

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"I am encouraged that there will be much better dialogue between the federal government and the state of Arizona. I hope that is not wishful thinking. I hope that is positive thinking."

Most troops to Arizona border

Brewer said that Obama indicated the "majority" of the 1,200 National Guard troops about to be deployed on the border with Mexico will likely be sent to Arizona.

"The numbers are not fixed from what I understood today. But he felt the majority of all the resources will probably be coming to Arizona,'' Brewer said. "So for that, we are grateful."

"During my meeting today, I told the president that the people of Arizona and America want the border secured first and then Washington can take up other issues relating to immigration," Brewer said on her Facebook page.

The White House blog had the official reaction, calling it a "good meeting."

"The president acknowledged the understandable frustration that all Americans share about the broken immigration system, and the president and governor agreed that the lack of action to fix the broken system at the federal level is unacceptable," said the White House.

The two did not discuss a federal suit over Arizona's SB 1070, which had been the focus of the media's attention on the meeting.

"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 said.

White House statement

The President had a good meeting with Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona at the White House today to discuss a range of critical issues of mutual interest, including the President’s comprehensive plan to secure the Southwest border and the unprecedented resources his Administration has devoted to that effort. The President and Governor Brewer also discussed the President’s decision to deploy up to an additional 1,200 requirements-based National Guard troops to the border and his upcoming request to Congress of $500 million in supplemental funds for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities as part of that integrated strategy. The President listened to Governor Brewer’s concerns, and noted that the Administration’s ongoing border protection and security efforts have increased pressure on illegal trafficking organizations through record seizures of illegal weapons and bulk cash transiting from the United States to Mexico, resulted in significant seizures of illegal drugs headed into the United States, lowered the average violent crime statistics in states along the Southwest Border, and reduced illegal immigration into the United States.

Despite the significant improvements, the President acknowledged the understandable frustration that all Americans share about the broken immigration system, and the President and Governor agreed that the lack of action to fix the broken system at the federal level is unacceptable. As he did at the recent meeting with Senate Republicans, the President underscored that security measures alone won’t fix the broken borders, there needs to be comprehensive immigration reform that includes:  lasting and dedicated resources by which to secure our borders and make our communities safer; holding unscrupulous employers accountable who hire workers illegally and exploit them and providing clear guidance for the many employers who want to play by the rules; and requiring those who have come here illegally to pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn English, and get right with the law. The President urged Governor Brewer to be his partner in working in a bipartisan manner on comprehensive immigration reform to implement the type of smart, sensible, and effective solutions the American people expect and deserve from their federal government. Regarding Arizona law SB1070, 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.

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1 comment on this story

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270 comments
Jun 3, 2010, 4:33 pm
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Check your Dictionary of Political Rhetoric and you’ll find that ‘cordial’ meetings are frequently characterized by foaming-at-the-mouth, snarling pit bulls straining at their leashes on both sides.

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Pete Souza/White House

President Obama meets with Gov. Jan Brewer in the Oval Office on Thursday.

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