Arizona Governor Jan Brewer took the time to sound off on the nation's immigration woes while walking by giant new surveillance trucks, unmanned aerial drones, night-vision goggles and giant outdoor camouflaged monitoring centers at a major border security expo in Phoenix.
Speaking to a room of law enforcement officers and those in the border technology industry on Tuesday, Brewer said the immigration issue isn't about hate or skin color, as her critics say — it's about securing the border and keeping Americans safe. Brewer also took the time to invoke the names of a slain rancher and Border Patrol agent.
"Of course, there are those in Washington who will tell you — from 3,000 miles away, by the way — that our border is more secure than ever," Brewer said. "No amount of distortion can hide the absolute
truth. The federal government, Republicans and Democrats alike, have failed every single American, all of us."
She said Washington's "abdication of responsibility is the overarching outrage of American illegal immigration crisis."
"America's failure to understand this problem at a national level and to deal with it has haunted borders like mine for decades," she said.
Brewer pointed to the killings of rancher Rob Krentz and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Authorities believe an undocumented immigrant killed Krentz while he was checking water lines on his property near the Arizona-Mexico border in March 2010.
Terry was killed in a shootout with border bandits in December 2010. A gun used in his shooting was connected to the botched federal operation known as Fast and Furious, in which agents lost track of nearly 1,400 of the more than 2,000 guns purchased by suspected straw buyers.
Later in the day, during a panel discussion by border sheriffs, Chief Deputy Sheriff Rodney Rothrock of southeastern Arizona's Cochise County again brought up Krentz, whose ranch falls under Rothrock's jurisdiction.