Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R.) met with President Obama privately on June 3, but both sides said no substantial developments came from the sit-down.
Much of the discussion centered around Arizona’s new immigration law, which many believe could lead to racial profiling, and the White House’s plan to send 1,200 additional troops to the Arizona to protect its border with Mexico.
Brewer still staunchly defends her stance on the issue and is hoping to convince the President to tighten the borders before addressing immigration reform.
“I feel very confident about what we have done in the past. It was the right thing to do,” Brewer told reporters after her meeting at the White House. “I believe that we are protecting the people of Arizona, and beyond that, I believe we’re protecting the people of America.”
Immigration reform will be a key issue in the coming months for Obama, and as he seeks Republican support to get his measures passed, meetings like this will be important. During their meeting, Obama lobbied Brewer for support on his immigration reform plans.
“The president urged Gov. 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,” the White House said.
However, according to The New York Times, Brewer said she would not support federal immigration reform legislation until the border was secured first.
Despite their philosophical and political differences, Brewer said she emerged from the meeting more optimistic about having the border in Arizona strengthened.
“I’m encouraged that there’s going to be much better dialogue between the government and Arizona,” Brewer said. “I hope that’s not wishful thinking.”
The White House plans to send staff to Arizona in the coming weeks to brief Brewer on how the 1,200 troops will be used and how an additional $500 million in border patrol funding will be dispersed.