Phoenix New Times Immigrant Series

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Immigrants have always been integral to the fabric of our country, with Phoenix included in that. The Phoenix New Times is devoting its entire issue to the stories about local immigrants in a series titled “A Frayed Fabric.” The paper will tell the stories of Russian, Jewish, Danish and immigrants from other countries who make the Phoenix area their home. Stuart Warner, the editor of the Phoenix New Times, will give us an overview of the stories.

TED SIMONS: TIMES IS DEVOTING THE ENTIRE ISSUE ON THE IMPACT OF IMMIGRANTS IN THE VALLEY. IMMIGRANTS, A FRAYED FABRIC. INCLUDES STORIES FROM PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES MAKING THEIR HOME RIGHT HERE IN PHOENIX. STUART WARNER IS THE EDITOR OF THE PHOENIX FREE TIMES. WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON.

STUART WARNER: OH THANK YOU, FIRST TIME.

TED SIMONS: YES, IT IS. A FULL ADDITION NOW OF THE NEW TIMES TO IMMIGRANTS. WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?

STUART WARNER: WE DECIDED TO LOOK AT -- EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEES. THEY ARE US. WE'RE LOOKING AT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 900,000 AND 1.1 MILLION PEOPLE IN ARIZONA WERE BORN OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES. SO THEY -- THEY'RE PART OF EVERY BIT OF OUR FABRIC. SO WE'VE TAKEN EACH SECTION OF THE NEW TIMES, FROM THE NEWS TO DINING TO MUSIC TO CULTURE AND FOCUS ON IMMIGRANT CONTRIBUTIONS.

TED SIMONS: THE TITLE IS IMMIGRANTS, A FRAYED FABRIC. WHY THAT TITLE?

STUART WARNER: WHAT STARTED AS A UNDERLYING THREAT, BUILD THE WALL, KEEP PEOPLE OUT, TRAVEL BAN. ONE OF THE IMMIGRANTS WHO WAS A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, SAW SOME OF THIS IN GERMANY IN THE 1940'S. WE WANTED TO GET ALL DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON IT. BUT TO BRING THE CONVERSATION OF THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY AND THEY'RE AIL PART OF US, UNDOCUMENTED OR DOCUMENTED.

TED SIMONS: THERE IS -- THE QUESTION IS IS THE FABRIC COMING UNDONE. THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT?

STUART WARNER: THAT IS WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT. THERE'S A LOT OF CONCERNS. THERE'S SOME PART OF A CONCERN. FROM THE MOTHER WHO LOST A SON WHO A MAN WAS HIT HERE ILLEGALLY, THAT'S A BIG CONCERN IN THIS COMMUNITY.

TED SIMONS: WOULD YOU MENTION A COUPLE OF STORIES HERE. TALK ABOUT THE JEWISH IMMIGRANT, THE GENTLEMAN WHO WITH THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, HE SEEMS TO BE SEEING THINS THAT HE'S SEEN BEFORE. TALK TO US ABOUT THAT.

STUART WARNER: OSCAR NOBLACH. PARENTS WERE KILLED IN THE OCCUPATION BY THE NAZIS. HE'S SEEING THAT SORT OF ATTITUDE, YOU KNOW, SORT OF JUST SINGLING OUT A GROUP AND MAKING THEM FEEL -- OTHER PEOPLE FEEL LIKE IT'S US AGAINST THEM. HE SAW THAT BEFORE AND SEEING IT NOW. TO BE UPSTANDERS.

TED SIMONS: WAS IT DIFFERENT WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER? NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TO BECOME UPSTANDERS BACK THEN.

STUART WARNER: IT HAPPENED AND HE SAW IT. HE SAID WE HAVE TO START IT BEFORE IT GETS TOO FAR.

TED SIMONS: YOU MENTIONED THE STORY OF A MESA POLICE OFFICER KILLED BY A DRUNK DRIVER, THAT STORY IS THERE AS WELL. THAT'S PART OF THE IMMIGRANT STORY.

STUART WARNER: YES, MARIAN MENDOZA. TALKED ABOUT CRIME AND IMMIGRANTS. IMMIGRANTS, THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ACTUALLY COMMIT LESS CRIME. BUT IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU, IT DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY LESS IMPACT. SHE'S A VERY DEVOUT TRUMP SUPPORTER RIGHT NOW. YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HER POSITION.

TED SIMONS: RUSSIAN BARBERS IN THE VALLEY?

STUART WARNER: USED TO BE RIGHT UP THE STREET, CENTRAL BARBERSHOP, THAT'S RUSSIAN OWN. THERE ARE DOZENS OF RUSSIAN BARBERS THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY, WHICH I WAS SURPRISED TO FIND OUT.

TED SIMONS: HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN IN THE VALLEY?

STUART WARNER: THE LATE 80s, WE'RE TOLD. ONE GUY HAD BARBERS FROM ALL OVER. HE FOUND RUSSIANS PARTICULARLY HAD A KNACK FOR IT. ONE LED TO ANOTHER. STARTED TALKING. THEY FOUND THIS IS A LOT LIKE HOME. SO --

TED SIMONS: IF THE HOME WAS A DESERT. YEAH, DANISH CHOREOGRAPHY? WE'VE HAD HIM ON BEFORE.

STUART WARNER: HE'S BROUGHT A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO BALLET ARIZONA. THAT'S THE KIND OF CONTRIBUTION HE'S MADE.

TED SIMONS: FOR THE RESTAURANT SECTION, YOU INCLUDED ETHIOPIAN REST RUN A TOURS. THERE'S NOT ONE ON EVERY CORNER THERE ARE QUITE A BIT OF THEM AROUND TOWN.

STUART WARNER: THEY DO PROBABLY FIND IT VERY MUCH LIKE HOME. AND THEY ETHIOPIANS ARE WONDERFUL COOKS. AND EATING WITH THE BREAD IN YOUR HAND. IT IS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. BUT THEY TRY TO BE A TOUCH STONE FOR THE EAST AFRICAN CULTURE IN THE COMMUNITY. SOMETHING THAT ADDS TO THE FABRIC THAT WE ARE.

TED SIMONS: AND A NATIVE HOSTING HIS OWN -- IS IT A RADIO SHOW OR A TELEVISION?

STUART WARNER: HE BRINGS CARRIBEAN MUSIC, AFRICAN MUSIC, HISPANIC MUSIC. HE LINEBACKS ALL OF THE BLACK AND BROWN SKINNED PEOPLE TO FEEL THEY HAVE A VOICE. MR. CLEAN BEE ON RADIO PHOENIX. IT'S VERY DIFFERENT. HE CONSIDERS IT A ONE-MAN DIVERSITY BAND.

TED SIMONS: ALL OF THESE FOLKS, THERE ARE OTHER STORIES AS WELL, HOW DO THEY -- HAS THEIR IMPRESSION OF AMERICA, OF ARIZONA, THE VALLEY, HAS THAT CHANGED?

STUART WARNER: I THINK BEGINNING A LITTLE BIT. THEY ALL LOVE IT HERE. THEY ENJOY IT. EVERY ONE OF US WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE MOTHER HAS POSITIVE THINGS TO SAY. THE UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT WHO WORRIES HER PARENTS WILL BE TAKEN NOW. SHE HAS A STILL A GREAT LOVE FOR THIS COUNTRY. WANTS TO BE HERE, WANTS TO BE PART OF US. THAT'S THE THEME THAT RUNS THROUGH ALL OF THEM. THEY WANT TO BE PART OF US.

TED SIMONS: THEY WANT TO BE PART OF US. BUT DO THE STORIES THE REPORTERS FIND MAYBE MORE FEAR OR MAYBE LESS FEAR? I'M HERE AND I COUNT AND THAT'S THE WAY IT IS.

STUART WARNER: RIGHT NOW, THERE IS JUST THIS UNDERLYING CURRENT OF FEAR. NOT TERRIBLE. AGAIN, ALMOST EVERYONE WE TALKED TO IS HERE ILLEGALLY. THERE'S THE FEAR THAT IF YOU COULD TURN ON ONE GROUP, COULD YOU TURN ON ANOTHER. THAT'S WHAT OSCAR POINTED OUT. IF YOU START WITH ONE, BUT THEN IF YOU LOOK AT OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT. THAT'S HIS CONCERN EVEN THOUGH HE'S BEEN HERE LEGALLY FOR DECADES.

TED SIMONS: THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN IN PRODUCTION FOR QUITE A WHILE. OR AT LEAST IN PARTICIPATION AND PLANNING.

STUART WARNER: IT HAS. JUST WENT TO THE PRESSES BEFORE I GOT HERE.

TED SIMONS: I DON'T KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY. THE NEWSPAPER HAS CHANGED SO MUCH. WHEN WILL IT BE ON THE STANDS?

STUART WARNER: WE STILL HAVE NEWSSTANDS HERE. IT'S FREE. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THEM AROUND CAMPUS AND AROUND COFFEE SHOPS. NIGHTCLUBS AND THAT'S WHERE PEOPLE HANG OUT. A FREE ISSUE AND IT WILL BE ON-LINE THURSDAY MORNING.

TED SIMONS: THURSDAY MORNING. BOTTOM LINE, THERE'S BASICALLY A REFLECTION ON THE IMPACT OF IMMIGRANTS?

STUART WARNER: YES, AND THAT IMMIGRANTS ARE US. THEY ARE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY. THEY HAVE MADE PHOENIX WHAT IT IS. WE HAVE ALL MADE PHOENIX WHAT IT IS.

TED SIMONS: IS THAT A SURPRISE? A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK PHOENIX IS WHITE BREAD.

STUART WARNER: WE RAN A STORY NOT TOO LONG AGO: "WHY IS PHOENIX SO WHITE?". WE'RE NOT. WE HAVE ALL KINDS OF CULTURES HERE. THEY BLENDED TOGETHER TO MAKE ONE FABRIC THAT WE THINK COULD BE STRONG AND LIKE TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.

TED SIMONS: THERE WE GO, PAPER IS OUT THURSDAY AND ON-LINE THURSDAY MORNING AS WELL. A FRAYED FABRIC. VERY INTERESTING. THANK YOU FOR COMING.

STUART WARNER: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: WEDNESDAY ON "ARIZONA HORIZONS," STATE LEADERS WILL JOIN US FOR AN UPDATE AT THE CAPITOL AND NEW RESEARCH SHOWS PHOENIX AND THE STATE STANDS IN TERMS OF JOB GROWTH, THAT'S AT 5:30 AND 10:00 RIGHT HERE ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," IF YOU LIKE TO WATCH THE NIGHT SHOW AGAIN AND SEE PAST EPISODES OF "ARIZONA HORIZON," CHECK US OUT, AZPBS.ORG/HORIZON, AZPBS.ORG/HORIZON. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Stuart Warner; editor, Phoenix New Times

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