Brewer to meet with Obama Thursday about border security - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Brewer to meet with Obama Thursday about border security

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Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 4:45 pm

Gov. Jan Brewer is going to get her face-to-face meeting with President Barack Obama.

The White House confirmed late Tuesday that the president intends to make some time on Thursday to sit down with the Arizona governor to hear her concerns about border security. No specific time has been set.

Tuesday's announcement is a sharp reversal from the rebuff the White House delivered to the governor last week when she first asked for the meeting.

At that time, White House spokesman Adam Abrams said Obama's schedule "doesn't allow for a meeting." But Abrams said the president "does intend to sit down with the governor in the future."

But Brewer's efforts for a similar sit-down with homeland security chief Janet Napolitano remain unfulfilled.

Agency spokesman Matt Chandler said Napolitano - who also was Brewer's predecessor as governor - is "unavailable" for the times when the current governor can meet. But he said Napolitano wants to meet with both Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard "in the near future."

Brewer is in Washington this week to talk with other governors who, like her, are members of a special council of governors the president appointed to provide him with advice on issues of homeland security. The trip is to prepare for a July meeting of the actual council.

The governor said last week she sought the meeting with Obama because she believes that Napolitano does not understand how serious the problems are with border security.

"I think that he owes it to the people of Arizona, if not to the people of the United States, to sit down and have a conversation with him in regards to what is needed at our border. We need to secure them," Brewer said.

The governor said she has not talked with the president since he announced his plans earlier this week to put 1,200 National Guard troops along the border. Brewer said she hasn't yet obtained any details on what that will mean to Arizona.

"But I think it's important that the leader of the United States and the governor of the state of Arizona sit down face to face and have a conversation of exactly what is going on in Arizona and ask him for his help and hope that he responds positively," she said.

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