Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is signing off on an immigration reform bill two of her state senators helped craft, calling it a “victory for Arizona.”
The 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being debated in the Senate will provide a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the nation. It would also put more boots on the ground and drones along the Southern border, where the state of Arizona and other have experienced years of illegal border crossings.
“I think that what we are seeing taking place in the Senate is a victory for Arizona,” Brewer said Sunday on Fox News. “I’m glad they’ve finally decided to talk about the border surge that we’ve called out for since 2010, asking them to take control of our border, operational control. And I think this is a great step forward in regards to that.”
The Senate is currently considering a $30 billion amendment that would add 20,000 more agents on the Mexican border. That move will boost the number of boots on the ground to approximately 40,000. This has increased the prospects that the main reform bill will ease through the upper House with more than the 60 votes necessary to block a filibuster.
“The bottom line is I think what they are getting ready to debate on Monday … is a step in the right direction and it is about time,” Brewer said. “Hopefully, as it gets out of the Senate and moves over to the House it can be debated once again and it can be looked at more closely.”
Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, two members of the “Gang of Eight,” are from Arizona. That Brewer is speaking so highly of the immigration reform legislation is a big deal for the gang, as it shows she’s confident in the work they have done. This is also a score for reform advocates, as Brewer was the one who signed off on SB1070 -- Arizona's harsh immigration bill -- in April 2010.
Brewer said she thinks the public believes the border must be secured before anything else is dealt with.
“We were promised before that the border would be secured and it didn’t happen,” she said. “I think that the public overwhelming agrees that the borders need to be secured and then we need to discuss the legalization or the pathway to citizenship. I personally believe in a robust work situation -- we need the workers, we need a lot of those people in Arizona -- but we have to be satisfied that it’s going to occur and the first step is those resources on the border.”
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...