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Fox News "On The Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript

Interview

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: She is at the center of this firestorm, and she is here talking to you. Arizona Governor Brewer "On the Record."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor nice to see you.

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ.: Nice to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, governor, we had a visitor on Capitol Hill today, President Calderon of Mexico, he was here and had words before the Congress, and he said this about your new statute in Arizona are.

He says that he "strongly disagrees with the recently adopted law in Arizona. It's a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by degree but also introduces the terrible idea using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement." What do you say to that?

BREWER: I think that is really unfortunate. I don't believe he understands what the law actually says. I don't mean it derogatory. The fact of the matter is that it prohibits racial profiling. It is illegal in Arizona and illegal in the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yesterday, President Obama speaking with President Calderon said he didn't say that the statute called for racial profiling. But he described it as having the potential or the probability. He refers to it as misguided. What do you say to the president of the United States?

BREWER: I keep questioning the fact of this continuation of misleading. I believe the American public on the facts. It is very clear it has been in federal law for decades. It is something that we implemented to use as another tool to get our borders secured.

If it was illegal or it was racial profiling here in the state of Arizona it would be illegal and racial profiling decades ago for the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Has the president or anyone who works for him called up and said, hey, governor what do you need? Do you need help? Is there anything we can do for you?

BREWER: They haven't, Greta. It is really frustrating. We are on the battlefield getting the impact of all this illegal immigration and all the crime that comes with it.

No one -- I have repeatedly sent letters to the administration and to the president of the United States with absolutely no response. I'm hopeful when I'm in Washington, D.C. in about a week I will be able to at least touch base with the secretary of Homeland Security and the president of the United States.

We need help. They need to do their job. They need to step up and secure our borders!

VAN SUSTEREN: Do all your letters go into a black hole? You get absolutely no response from the federal government at all?

BREWER: Absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing. You know, I would think at this point in time, I that I most people in America would agree, with all the discussion and all the misleading statements that are being made, that we would have heard in some avenue at least to contact me at least my Homeland Security people here in the state of Arizona.

Zip, nothing. We are too busy talking about it and saying mischaracterizations about what the bill actually does. We need help. We want our borders secured.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm a little surprised -- go ahead.

BREWER: And we want this illegal immigration -- we are a nation of laws. I can't understand for the life of me when 70 percent of the American public agrees with Arizona that no one is taking any action, no one is calling us, no one is corresponding with us. It's very, very frustrating.

We have the right in Arizona, as does everyone else in our country, to feel safe, and we cannot afford the expense that is the federal government's responsibility.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm a little surprised that you don't get more attention, not only because the statute sent up a red flare into the sky, but also because the secretary of Homeland Security sat in your seat. She was Governor Napolitano of Arizona before she became secretary of Homeland Security. Have you had no conversation with her?

BREWER: None, nil. However, we did go back in the records and gather all the letters and requests of her communications when she was governor in regards to this issue. I thought we might be able to glean something from that or present them to her so they would have her memory refreshed as to what is taking place here with illegal drug smuggling and illegal immigration and the drop houses and the terror which our citizens live in day in and day out you along the border.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were her letters like --

BREWER: You know Greta -- pardon?

VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.

BREWER: I said, we are just fed up we can't withstand any more. It is unfair, un-responsible. We have borders for a reason. A nation without borders is like a house without walls -- it collapses. And that is what is going to happen to our wonderful America.

And we can start the turnaround here in Arizona. That's what we intend to do. We are not going to stop. We need help, Mr. President.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are the letters that you have looked out from then Governor Napolitano, now Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, are her letters essentially like your letters? Did she face the same problems? Did she make the same requests? Did she say Arizona has the same problems you are saying Arizona has?

BREWER: Absolutely. We need our borders secure. We need our money from the federal government for the incarceration of the illegal immigrants that we have in our jails and in our prisons. She repeated it over and over. She sent a big blown up check of what they owed us.

So she knows. She understands. For her to say she hadn't even read the bill that I signed because she already had it on her desk is unconscionable. The bill is the same bill she had before her.

We cleaned up the legislation. We made it so it would be constitutional. She and everybody else that is out there reminding the public exactly what that bill does and they don't understand the bill, they haven't even read the bill. It is frustrating. It is frustrating.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your theory on why Secretary Napolitano isn't more cheerleading the issues or responding more because of the relationship?

BREWER: You know, I have asked myself on numerous occasions since I've been here and have been dealing with this border security issue, what is the motive? Why are they not enforcing the law? Why aren't they responding to us?

They understand the problems. They get the same information that I get with the crime that has taken place on our land here and throughout America. We are the gateway.

I don't know. What is their motive? It's just absolutely nothing. They stepped up, they helped Texas. They helped California. And here we sit, the drug corridor of the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: Interestingly, you do have one supporter today at least one aspect of it. President Calderon said to the United States Congress, he said "I'm convinced that a comprehensive immigration reform is crucial." So he's asking for comprehensive immigration reform. Maybe at least he's championing the cause with you.

BREWER: You know I sometimes wonder what he means by that. I also heard him say that he wants a safer border. I don't know what the code word is in there. But for me it seems that he wants something maybe that we in America might not want.

We want our borders secure. It's very plain, not safer or comprehensive reform or all the other code words that people want to use. We want our borders secured, and then we can move forward dealing with the other issues that we will have to deal with later on.

But we will not get anything accomplished, I don't believe, until our borders are secured. I would ask the president and the Congress to move forward to determine just exactly what it is they are going to do and do it soon. Do it soon, Greta. We can't stand it. We cannot stand it anymore of this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Next, we have more with Governor Brewer. She is not finished yet. She has more to tell you, so stay right where you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: We continue with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the controversies raised in the last couple of the days is the issue of boycott. Los Angeles city council voted to boycott Arizona, and then there was a letter sent to the commissioner to Los Angeles that said go ahead and boycott us, but how come you are willing to take 25 percent of your electricity from us?

What is your thought about this dispute and letters going back and forth?

BREWER: Well, you know we certainly don't appreciate them boycotting. I as an elected official would never recommend anybody to boycott any city or state. You are harming innocent people out there. So it is a very unfortunate situation when you see elected officials stand up and behave that way.

In regards to the letter sent over there from our corporation commissioner, you know, I don't think that is going to happen. The frustration is so high, of course, I think that's why the letter was written.

We do have a contract with Los Angeles. They could void that I suppose. Or if they didn't pay their electrical bill maybe we could turn the lights off. But we are not going to just flip the switch.

I believe boycotts are wrong. I wouldn't suggest anybody would do it. But every individual, you know they can determine, decide where they are going to spend their money and vacation.

VAN SUSTEREN: It seems pretty obvious that you're angry. A lot of people in Arizona are really angry about this because of the lack of response by the federal government.

Would everything change if the federal government, meaning members of Congress, the president of the United States, if they actually stepped up and did some meaningful immigration reform? Would everyone sort of lay down the sword?

BREWER: I think so. If we could get our borders secured that would save aggravation and money and dollars and give us our road to find a pathway to deal with the solution that probably needs to be dealt with.

But our borders have got to be secured. We are absolutely not going to sit still and hope or ask for anything other than at this point in time to secure our borders and pay us our bills for the people that we are incarcerating.

You know, Greta, this is costing Arizona, talking about boycotts and costs, this illegal immigration in Arizona is costing us millions and millions of dollars in education, in health care, and incarceration. And not to talk about all the illegal activities that are harming our citizens here.

All of that in regards to the boycott that is -- the boycott would be minimum if we could get rid of all of those expenses we would be way far ahead.

VAN SUSTEREN: You must have tapped into something, because I'm looking at a poll. You have a primary in August, August 24th, and you're polling in the likely voters in the Republican party, 85 percent, which is a 31 point jump in a month. You must be tapping into something.

BREWER: I saw that. I think the people of Arizona understand the issue and I think the people of America understand the issue. I think they support Arizona. I think they support me on that fact. And I'm pleased to see they are with me because I need that kind of encouragement to keep moving on.

I launched my website securetheborder.org. I hope everybody has the opportunity to go there and get information and keep encouraging us to do what is right for not only Arizona, but for America.

VAN SUSTEREN: Since you don't get your letters answered, in case the president or Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano is watching, you got a short message for them?

BREWER: Mr. President and Secretary Napolitano, it is your responsibility to secure our borders, and I plead with you and I ask you respectfully, do your job.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, as always, thank you very much. I hope to see you when you come to Washington.

BREWER: Thank you. I appreciate the invitation, Greta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)


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