Illegal Immigration

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State Senator Russell Pearce (R) discusses his request for a special session to deal with illegal immigration.

Richard Ruelas: Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Richard Ruelas filling in for Ted Simons. In today's headlines, a Pinal County drug trafficking organization is out of business. It's the result of an eight-month investigation by the federal drug enforcement administration, the Arizona Attorney General and the Pinal county Sheriff's Office. Details were released at a press conference this morning. ... Officials say the investigation led to 21 indictments, 13 arrests, and the seizure of nearly 4,000 pounds of marijuana and more than $400,000 in cash. Last week, law enforcement Officials gathered at the state Capitol to support a special 2 Session on illegal immigration. Leading the charge is state Senator Russell Pearce, who joins me now to talk about his Push for new state laws to fight Illegal immigration. Not your first fight doing so Senator Pearce.

Russell Pearce: No.

Richard Ruelas: Thanks for joining us this Evening.

Russell Pearce: No, it's not. It's not a new state law. It's just removing the political Handcuffs from law enforcement That prevent them from doing the Job they've always (inaudible) To do.

Richard Ruelas: I want to get to what the Special session would cover and The three-pronged approach you Mentioned during the news Conference, but first, I have to Ask you, are you going to be the New head of the department of Public safety?

Russell Pearce: You know, it's certainly an Honor to be considered for such A position. There's some impediments to do That. The governor would have to hold The position open. Any other elected official you C=can resign and take another Position. With the legislature, the way it's worded, I would think That's difficult to do.

Richard Ruelas: Meaning you'd have to resign And the job would have to be Vacant for I think up to a year?

Russell Pearce: No, my term has to be filled. I would have to finish this term before I could take that Position. That was the case -- beyond That, I love what I do now. I mean, the battle is great. We have a huge deficit. Major challenges in the state. We have states' rights under Attack every day. I'm part of a liberty caucus That is trying to focus on States' rights and recognize That the sovereignty of each State is paramount and created By our founders in the Constitution and recognized In -- you know, in family values And second amendment rights and limited government. The things that kind of our Country is founded on and our job is to protect life, liberty and property. Not give you stuff. And I'm focusing on major, major issues, I think. And work with groups all across the nation and so it would be Hard to step away from that battle that I think is critical to the survival of this Republic. It doesn't mean there's not other jobs you can do and it doesn't mean there's not people That could fill this job just as well.

Richard Ruelas: Is it a job that you would Like? I mean, you've been in law Enforcement much of your life.

Russell Pearce: I have. You know, out of fairness, it's A job that's appealing, I have To admit. I mean, I at one point was going To run for sheriff of Maricopa County. You can't get law enforcement Out of your system. I have two boys in law Enforcement and I was at Sheriff's office and the former Chief deputy. I mean, tent city was one of the Things I helped bring online and, in fact, initiated, going And taking the R and Questionable movies out of the Prison and giving them movies That I think are more appealing To the clientele.

Richard Ruelas: (Inaudible).

Russell Pearce: Disney, G-rated and movies That helped people with an Entrepreneurial capitalist kind Of go out and work hard and you Can make something out of yourself. And part of many, many major initiatives, both statewide and otherwise in law enforcement. So there's battles and I love Law enforcement and work hard and I think public safety is our Number one responsibility in government. To protect, again, your life, liberty and your property. That's government's number one Role and so it's always been something near and dear to me.

Richard Ruelas: Do you think the Department of Public Safety could do more Or -- and if you thought about taking the job, under your watch, would it do more about Illegal immigration?

Russell Pearce: I think they have a major role. Again, once they cross the border illegally, it's our neighborhood, it's our healthcare system, it's our Education system. It's our criminal justice System. They're our citizens and we have A constitutional right to expect The laws to be enforced. And it's law enforcement's duty not to sit on the sidelines and Be a spectator, and be in the Front of that battle and Preserving the liberties. And we're a nation of laws. The rule of law does matter and You want to do it -- like I tell People all the time. We have an obligation as elected Officials to enforce the law. With compassion. But without apology. I don't apologize for Recognizing the damage to America. I just was attending a couple Days ago another memorial service by Shane -- for Shane Figuerro, who was killed by illegal aliens. Phoenix police officers, they hung the sign on a lamppost on Rosier and 19th. And it brings it back and I've attended the funeral of officer Adkins and the funeral of Officer earthly and my heart Breaks every time. And citizens -- Chris miller and The mom from Gilbert who was Killed by an illegal alien Fleeing from Mesa P.D. And the list goes on. And Officer Glidewell, who got shot in the chest. My own son shot three times by An illegal alien while executing homicide watch for people Involved in drug trafficking. And even if you take the good People, so-called, that are here Still breaking the law, just After jobs -- not all of them Are criminals in terms of a culpability. They don't come here to be really bad guys and I understand that. But still, they're taking jobs From the Americans and Suppressing wages. We need to stand up for the American worker. 26-year high in unemployment. Record foreclosure of houses. We're a nation of laws and I demand those laws be honored and supported and enforced.

Richard Ruelas: Last thing on the DPS. Under your watch, you would envision the DPS being as aggressive as we see the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office?

Russell Pearce: Well, everybody has their Style. I just believe the laws ought to Be enforced and that's one Traffic stop at a time. I just believe we don't turn a Blind eye. When you have a legitimate Contact, like any other crime. You have a legitimate contact And it leads to information that Would lead you to believe There's other violation of law You investigate those.

Richard Ruelas: (Inaudible).

Russell Pearce: And you reach to the point of Probable cause, you arrest. Well, not entirely. I think DPS and I've talked to The current director and I think They've stepped up a long way And I think the get 'em program Which I've been the champion of Both when it was started under Governor Symington. In the last four to five years I've made major efforts to improve and expand that program going after both illegal aliens that are here illegally Involved in criminal activity. Like the ones you just had with my good friend Paul Babeu, the Drug trafficking and home Invasions. Arizona is number two in Kidnappings in the world and carjackings and enough is enough. And so there's more we can do. There's always more we can do and that's what I advocate. The dignity. That we don't sit on the Sidelines. We can't be a spectator to the Destruction of our neighborhoods Or the destruction of the rule Of law. And we do it -- I hope I never Sound mean spirited about it. I'm just firm. I know right. I know my duties and I have an Oath of office and that's to enforce the law and defend the Constitution and I do it without apology. And I demand that others do it Too if they're in that position. Or don't take the oath.

Richard Ruelas: Given today's bust that we saw, what looked like a major marijuana operation, the law Enforcement busted today and Given the limited resources of Law enforcement, where do you Think the attention should be Versus, say, a carwash versus a marijuana bust?

Russell Pearce: Well, see, that's the left Loves to use that carwash Landscaper. The truth is, you know, the guy that killed officer earthly, ok The guy that shot officer Glidewell. The guy that killed officer -- You know, [inaudible], what kind of jobs do you think they had? Where do we wait? Do we wait until they kill somebody before we act? What about they're illegal? What part of illegal do people not understand? We allow more people in this Country legally than every other combined civilized nation. Every other combined civilized nation. We allowed 1.4 million into the Country legally last year. There has to be limits. And you have to come here the right way. We have a right to know. We have reports from the FBI. I have them sitting on my desk about terrorist groups crossing that border coming into the Country. Do we wait until they destroy America before we act? And again, we're a nation of laws.

Richard Ruelas: I want to get to the special Session, but you mentioned that Only a certain percentage are -- Come over here with malicious intent, a criminal element.

Russell Pearce: [inaudible]

Richard Ruelas: Right, you mentioned.

Russell Pearce: One million gang members according to the FBI. Most of them illegal aliens.

Richard Ruelas: Is there something inherent in those who are, say, working in the carwash/landscaping job? Is there something that makes them more prone to criminal activity, in your opinion?

Russell Pearce: Well, I think when you start off breaking the law, and that's what you're doing. When you have disrespect for our laws and cross the border clearly it makes it more prone. Does the shoplifter, is he more prone to commit a burglary once He's willing to steal? Absolutely.

Richard Ruelas: Ok.

Russell Pearce: So certainly, there's a direct correlation. The nexus is there. But again, I'm cautious to make every one of those folks sound like they're really a bad guy. Some of them are probably as good of a neighbor as you can ask for. But you still can't break my laws. We have a way to come to America and that's the legal way, the right way and I accept no other way.

Richard Ruelas: Speaking of laws, you want a three-prong approach to Immigration enforcement, a special session? How likely do you see a special session?

Russell Pearce: Let me be fair to the governor's office who I've had a lot of contact on this, and they're very supportive of doing something. It might be more prudent to wait until we're in regular session when everybody is there. You know, because I don't have a lot of votes to spare. I have the votes in both the house and the senate, I believe. But not a lot of votes to spare. If you have a special where people are still on vacation and people are gone and you miss a vote or two, it could have an impact. I'm willing to wait and maybe either the first week put this bill out. I'm going to drop a citizens' initiative to make sure if something does happens, the citizens have the last say. And we know they'll pass this BY 75-85%. We know that. And then we'll have the last say and again, sanctuary policies -- that's what we're talking about are illegal. They're illegal under 8 USC 1644 and 8 USC 1373. You cannot have a policy that restricts law enforcement. Yet we have them all over. My good friends in Houston had their third police officer killed. San Francisco just had their third police officer killed. You know, any time you --

Richard Ruelas: (Inaudible).

Richard Ruelas: They stay focused --

Russell Pearce: They love to tell the lies to convince you otherwise but it's an absolute lie. When you have policies that tell a police officer you cannot ask under certain circumstances that's called a sanctuary policy. And we do it for no other law. Richard, tell me any other law where we put condition on you when you can ask and when you can act. No another law. Only this law and people are killed and injured every day because of it. The impact, in the billions of dollars. We spend about a billion a year just in K-12. The cost to the American people is huge. I get calls from all over the nation. How do we follow Arizona's lead? What can we do to make a difference? And we are making a difference. And we'll continue to make a difference.

Richard Ruelas: It seems like the toughest One, and it's always the toughest one, is going after employers. Why is the business community so tough on not wanting to increase sanctions? And we only have about a minute left.

Russell Pearce: You can take two groups -- It's about profits over patriotism. Or about anarchy, open border groups. They don't care about anyone else having an agenda. And they ignore the damage and the cost to America. They've joined heads on the back side and it's corruption on both sides. It's about political power or cheap labor. And it's profits over patriotism while they ignore or watch the destruction of the very country we all love. This great republic. I consider myself a patriot and I refuse to stand by and watch this nation be destroyed or injured and the rule of law ignored until we become a lawless nation with no regard for those who obey the law abide by the law, while we disregard those who ignore the Law.

Richard Ruelas: We could probably do the entire half an hour with you, Senator. Probably wouldn't even need me to do the entire half hour. Thank you for joining us.

Russell Pearce: Sir, thank you.

Russell Pearce, State Senator;

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