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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer official portrait
Chatty Cathy: "The border is not secure ... "
Since last night, the news programs and blogs have been filled with stories about the immigration deal announced by a bipartisan group of eight senators (PDF of the plan). Some of the recommendations, which are not very detailed at this point, sound sensible and way overdue, and if public polling on the issue means anything in Congress, a bill should sail through, although it's sure to face a steeper uphill fight in the crazy-ass House.

Rachel Maddow began her program tonight with a video clip Arizonans are all too familiar with—Gov. Jan Brewer's 16-second meltdown during the 2010 PBS gubernatorial debate. That evening notwithstanding, and it's just one of many Brewer brainfarts, she of course went on to win the election—not because she was the most intelligent or qualified, but because she had endorsed Sen. Russell Pearce's "papers please" bill. Had Brewer not embraced SB 1070 during that summer of tea party rage, it's likely she would not have won her party's nomination, let alone the election.

This was Rachel's concern tonight: If the commission mentioned in today's agreement has veto power, if they must declare the border secure before other measures in the plan can take place, then kiss reform goodbye, because in Jan Brewer's alleged mind the region will never be "secure." As long as there's even one Mexican sneaking over or under the fence, as long as there's even one rancher complaining about immigrants tramping over his land, then Gov. Brewer will not declare the border secure. Especially if there's a Democrat in the White House.

Case in point: Right now immigration in the Tucson sector is at a 40-year low. In fact, it's at net-zero, maybe lower. Similarly, crime along the border is lower than in some other parts of Arizona, like Sheriff Joe Arpaio's county. One reason for these results is that President Obama doubled the number of border agents since George Bush. Yet you rarely heard Arizona Republicans clamoring "secure the border" when Bush was in the White House, and when immigration was far higher.

So, immigration is down and crime is down. But take a look at Jan "Headless Bodies" Brewer's recent fundraising letter. This was just last week—she's still fearmongering, exploiting a problem that does not exist:

I have worked to pass immigration legislation such as SB 1070 in response to the federal government's failure to respond. I will not back down until President Obama and Congress do their jobs and address this issue.

Arizona and its citizens deserve a federal government that devotes its time and attention to issues that the people deem important. Please help us demand that the federal government commit to a secure border FIRST before addressing immigration reform. Please donate $10 now toward assuring that our nation has a secure border!

In Brewer's zany world, the federal government is not "do[ing] its job," even though immigration is essentially at zilch and parts of the region resemble a military zone. And there shouldn't be any talk of immigration "reform" until the border is secure. Except it pretty much is. That tells us what Gov. Brewer's role will be as a member of this commission. Well, we don't have to wait for that, she said it today, in the wake of the bipartisan plan announced this morning:
"I have been in contact with Senator McCain regarding the now released immigration reform ideas presented by his working group of Senators. I am pleased that there is expressed recognition of what we have been saying in Arizona: immigration reform will not succeed unless and until we have achieved effective border security...

Our nation cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past by pursuing immigration reform before tangible and effective border security, particularly in the Tucson Sector, is completed."

In other words, even though there's essentially no immigration problem, she's going to keep using the invisible problem as a dog whistle in fundraising letters and stump speeches. And to satisfy her nativist base, she will never declare the border secure enough to approve any steps toward further reform. Because it's really not about the border, it's about harassing brown people.

Originally posted to Maggie's Farm on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and Phoenix Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Because Republicans Succeeded In Makng th American (6+ / 0-)

    dream so little more attainable in America than Mexico, that America is the leading 1st-world nation you need to leave for Europe or Scandinavia to realize the American Dream.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:36:06 PM PST

  •  Brewer is term limited (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, Mother Mags, hnichols

    Last I heard she was fighting this because she was not elected to 2 full 4 year terms.  She took over midterm for Janet Napalitano when is was tapped to be Director of Homeland Security.  I have not heard if she received a waiver to run again and I'm hoping that the sun in Arizona has not warped the brains of their legislature that they allow her to run for a 3rd term.  Heck, I'm in NYC, and we got stuck with Bloomberg for a 3rd term because our City Council overroad the will of the people and let him (and themselves) run for a 3rd term.  

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:56:11 PM PST

    •  Yes, she's been making noises that her first term, (5+ / 0-)

      since it was not a full four years, does not count as a term, and therefore she's eligible to run again. She hasn't made a decision one way or another, and the question has not been settled by the courts. One Democrat just introduced a bill in the legislature to clarify that any part of a term counts as a term, although it's probably not going to pass if the GOP doesn't want it to. I think the language of the AZ Constitution is pretty clear, because it says "any part of a term served," not "four years." I wrote about this a while ago:

      Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer may run for a third term. Her Top Ten political moments.

      stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

      by Mother Mags on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:50:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love reading your posts, even though (4+ / 0-)

        they make me despair of your beautiful state.

        In a sane universe, Arpaio and Brewer would meet in an explosion of matter and antimatter and the rest of us could breathe a sigh of relief.

        To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

        by Youffraita on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jan and fundraising. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mother Mags, PSzymeczek

        However hare brained she may play in public, the "corporate" Jan, i.e., she and her lobbyist laden counselors, has a pretty keen grasp of what's what. The whole "third term" brouhaha is, imho, a ploy to keep her name out there and raise funds.

        The real question revolves around what she's raising funds for. Looking at the JANPAC numbers from last cycle, nearly a million raised, nearly $700,000 spent - presumably distributed to key Republican candidates, she's building a solid position within the state party organization for something.

        My guess? She's anticipating running for and winning McCain's seat when he retires. Having numerous party bigwigs in her debt is a major step in that direction.

        “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

        by DaNang65 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:27:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  She has not (0+ / 0-)

      received a waiver.

      You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less expect it to thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at its tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the grassroots. - Jim Hightower

      by PSzymeczek on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:42:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The main worry I see is this (5+ / 0-)

    Immigration is down cause the economy sucks...as the economy improves, so will the number of migrants.  So, over the next few years, we will see yearly increases in these numbers...which will play into all the right wing narratives.

    A friend from up north visited this weekend.  I drover her down and around the border (she asked to).  Despite being a lefty, she was still amazed by how surreal, useless and militarized it is.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 10:04:08 PM PST

  •  Immigration at low (0+ / 0-)

    If immigration is at an all time low, we should also get behind Klobuchar's proposal
    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/...

    Currently, 65,000 foreign workers are granted H1B visas every year. Under the Klobuchar-Hatch legislation, that number would jump to 115,000 right away and then rise by 20,000 every year, reaching a cap of 300,000 workers a year. The legislation would also allow those visa holders to change jobs more easily.
    I am sure this proposal would also face some opposition.
  •  False information about border security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags, PSzymeczek

      Great article on why the border security fence is bogus:

    http://prospect.org/...

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