Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was taken by surprise at President Barack Obama’s immigration announcement, calling it “backdoor amnesty,” in an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News.
Brewer, who has called for more border protection, told Fox News she was taken aback when the Department of Homeland Security announced that the U.S. would provide amnesty to children of illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria and are in the country in good standing.
The Republican governor said she did not receive a heads-up call from anyone in the White House ahead of the announcement.
“Well, it was an interesting surprise this morning waking up to this kind of news. And I believe it is certainly a preemptive attack on the senate bill, something we have fought long and hard for. We keep wanting him [Obama] to address the issue of securing our borders and to do this, in my opinion, it is back door amnesty.”
The policy, effective immediately, applies to young people under the age of 30 who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 years old. They must have lived in the United States for five years, have no criminal record, and earned a high school diploma, remained in school or served in the military. The decision, formally announced by Obama, closely reflects the DREAM Act that has been debated in congress since it was first introduced in 2001 and which died in the senate last year. Obama said the new policy affects about 800,000 undocumented immigrants.
“The bottom line is that we believe in the rule of law and until we get our borders secured it will continue,” Brewer told Fox. “It will not stop now. People will be making a big run to the border, not to mention the additional cost of the Obama healthcare.
“Now we have people here that will qualify probably for Obama healthcare. What will that do to the state? So we will have a larger base to have to deliver healthcare services to. And in Arizona, we already spend $7 billion a year on illegal immigration.”
At a press conference this morning, Brewer said the immigration system was broken, much like the nation’s borders.
“Now is not the time to grant broad amnesty to nearly 1 million people. And now is not the time to approve something via executive fiat that the President knows he could never get through Congress. Instead, we need to keep our focus upon securing the border.”
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