I understand that aspects of the new Arizona immigration law are contraversial. I also understand that as a non-minority I might not fully appreciate how threatening some of the provisions in the law might seem. But it is also a fact that illegal immigration is threatening our national security, and Arizona is on the front line. From where I sit at least Governor Jan Brewer is attempting to do something to rectify the situation, not just turn a blind eye while uttering soothing politically-correct platitudes. You might think that any conversations about developing a coherant national immegration policy should include her–and is it that great a stretch to imagine that the President and the Director of Homeland Security would even look for an oppotunity to discuss and debate the Arizona legislation with Governor Brewer were she to visit Washington, D.C.?
I find this development particularly interesting since President Obama has made a virtue of his inclusive willingness to talk to anyone–be they the thuggish dictators of Venezuela or Iran, or even those “stupid” Cambridge police. Talking can’t hurt–as Mr. Obama said in reference to his openness to meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “As president of the United States, my job is to look out for the national security interests of this country…If it is in the United States’ interest to make certain that we can stabilize the situation and avoid further military confrontation and curb state sponsored terrorism they’ve been involved with, that’s something we should be willing to do.” In other words, even if you disagree with someone as I assume the President of the United States does with the President of Iran, if it is in our national security interests Mr. Obama will at least have a conversation.
But not with Governor Brewer. The President seems to find her actions so noxious that he won’t even find the time to talk to her to see if they can find some common ground from which they might confront this pressing national crisis together. I understand Mr. Obama is a busy man, but can’t he find twenty minutes next week to squeeze her in? Sure it might mean missing a few precious moments with Sir Paul McCartney, but in the interests of stablizing the situation on our southern border and avoiding further confrontation with a leader who should be a partner in this effort, the President might want to consider making the sacrifice.