On Monday, Rachel reported on the possibility that border governors could essentially veto proposed immigration reform if they don’t think the border is secure. That list of governors includes the inimitable Jan Brewer of Arizona, who sat down with local NBC 12 News anchor Mark Curtis in Phoenix yesterday and said:
I think the concern is is, which comes first: the duck or the egg. I believe that the majority of the people believe our security on the border needs to be dealt with before anything goes forward, meeting the demands of what we know some people want.
H/t Governor Brewer. A longer transcript, courtesy of our fabulous internly type Andrew Joyce of Idaho:
CURTIS: Governor, would it be safe to assume that you’re in the camp with the gang of eight in terms of, yes citizenship could happen down the road but not until the border is secure?
BREWER: Yeah, I could probably say that. I’m more comfortable with the bipartisan bill that was presented yesterday by the senators, the eight senators. I thought that they got more into the details, and I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Senator McCain and Senator Flake and they all agree, basically as I do, that I think we have issues out there, situations that we’ve got to resolve. I think everybody in America knows that. But, I think the concern is is, which comes first, the duck or the egg. I believe that the majority of the people believe our security on the border needs to be dealt with before anything goes forward, meeting the demands of what we know some people want.
CURTIS: How would you define a secure border, when would you be satisfied that the border is secure?
BREWER: I, you know, having dealt with this now for many many many years, not only since I’ve been governor, but I think I would rely on those experts in my office, the people that have looked at that, they have all the data and the information and they’re reaching out to the communities that have to deal with it, the experts in my office, certainly the law enforcement experts along the border and inside the border. Those people are experts, they know what they’re facing day in and day out and then I think the people, certainly the people at the border. They’re the ones that know, the ranchers, the farmers, the people that live down there day in and day out. If we can all come together and there’s an agreement, then that is an operational, controlled border and we know what it looks like. We see it in California and we even see it here in Arizona in Yuma, but we don’t have that operational control in the Tucson sector.
CURTIS: Let me ask you, the Senate blueprint says you and other governors would have to agree that the border is secure in order to open up that path to citizenship. It almost gives you a sort of veto power over the plan if you’re not comfortable. Would you use that veto power?
BREWER: Well I think that’s what they’re saying. You know, again, that’s not what the legislation says, that’s just something that of course they’re thinking about putting into a piece of legislation. I don’t know if one person has a veto power, if it’s a majority or if it’s unanimous, but I am very grateful that they included us that are fighting it every day to try and get something done with the border, so I hope that I could be one of those people that could participate. I would be willing to participate.
CURTIS: Where do you stand on the Dream Act, Governor?
BREWER: Well, the Dream Act is an issue that we’ve heard about for a long, long time and it tugs at your heart strings because you know that these people have been brought to the United States when they were children and they had no control over it – but I believe in the rule of law. There again, as we get operational control of our border I think that is an issue that we’re gonna have to resolve, that and the 11 million people – give or take a few million here or there – that we’re gonna have to deal with, that we’re gonna have to decide what it is and how we’re gonna solve that problem
CURTIS: Can I ask you one final question? And we’re unfortunately out of time, but as you look ahead are you confident are you optimistic that some sort of concrete immigration reform can take place in the next year? Or do you think this is destined to be tied up with partisan bickering?
BREWER: Well, I hope that it isn’t tied up, and I hope that, to use the President’s words, “it doesn’t get bogged down.” But I hope that there truly is a bipartisan solution to all of this and I want to be hopeful, I want to do and want them to do what’s right for the United States so I will do my part of it and we can begin that with a secure border.