Hermosillo Community Town Hall

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The Arizona Town Hall is hosting a community town hall in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico on May 25 and 26. Town hall participants will focus on issues that impact and could benefit the Arizona-Sonora region, including economic issues, immigration and border security.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," AN ARIZONA TOWN HALL BORDERS ON BORDER AND TRADE ISSUES. THAT'S WHAT IT'S ABOUT. WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT NEXT. AND WE HEAR ABOUT ONE OF THE MOONS OF JUPITER AND WE SEE HOW HORSES AND INMATES ARE HELPING EACH OTHER. THAT'S NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

NARRARATOR: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON," I'M TED SIMONS. THE FORMER HEAD OF THE ECONOMIC SECURITY IS JOINING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. CLARENCE CARTER WAS THE DES DIRECTOR FOR 3 YEARS BEFORE HE RESIGNED IN 2015. HE WILL WORK AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICE DEPARTMENT OFFICE OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE OVER SEEING $17 BILLION WELFARE GRANTS TO ASSIST FAMILIES. DURING CARTER'S TENURE AT DES, 6,000 HOT LINE CALLS WENT UNANSWERED, WHICH LED TO CPS BEING SPUN OFF INTO A DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY. DOUG DUCEY FACED A DEADLINE TODAY CLOSE TO BUSINESS TO SIGN OR VETO THE FINAL 33 BILLS FROM THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE BIGGEST PIECE, A FINANCE MEASURE TO GIVE THREE UNIVERSITIES BONDING AUTHORITY TO BORROW $1 BILLION FOR REPAIRS AND CONSTRUCTION. THE ARIZONA TOWN HALL IS HOSTING AN EVENT IN MEXICO FOCUSING ON BUSINESS, IMMIGRATION AND BORDER SECURITY. JOINING US TOWN HALL PARTICIPANT AND ATTORNEY PATRICK WELCH. THANKS FOR BEING HER HERE.

PATRICK WELCH: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

TED SIMONS: THE PURPOSE OF THE TOWN HALL IS WHAT?

PATRICK WELCH: IT'S A SPINOFF FROM THE ARIZONA TOWN HALL THAT HAPPENED LAST APRIL. ONE OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT CAME FROM THE 108TH ARIZONA TOWN HALL WAS TO HOST A TOWN HALL IN SONORA TO GET A MORE BROAD PERSPECTIVE OF OPINION FROM SONORANS ABOUT THE ARIZONA MEXICO RELATIONSHIP PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO TRADE INFRASTRUCTURE CULTURAL EXCHANGE, LOTS OF THINGS.

TED SIMONS: BEFORE WE GET TOO FAR AHEAD, WHO PARTICIPATES AND HOW ARE THE PARTICIPANTS CHOSEN?

PATRICK WELCH: IT'S BY INVITE ONLY AND IDENTIFIES A BROAD SPECTRUM OF THE POPULATION IN ARIZONA. IN THIS INSTANCE, SINCE IT'S THE ADVISER VENTURE, WE TOOK THE APPROACH OF OPENING UP THE INVITATION TO EVERYONE. IT WAS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO GET A BROAD GROUP OF PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE 65 PEOPLE SIGNED UP. WE HOPE TO BE AROUND 80 BY THE TIME WE ARE READY TO GO.

TED SIMONS: SONORA AND ARIZONA, BOTH REGIONS, HOW DO THEY BENEFIT? GIVE US PARTICULARS HERE. HOW DO THEY BENEFIT FROM A STRONGER ECONOMY?

PATRICK WELCH: IF YOU LOOK AT NAFTA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF NAFTA OVER 25 YEARS. THE ECONOMIC OF NAFTA HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANT. IT'S $580 MILLION IN TRADE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO.THAT'S THE THIRD LARGEST TRADING PARTNER IF I RECALL. IN TERMS OF IMPORTANCE FOR ARIZONA, IT'S OUR LARGEST TRADING PARTNER, $8.3 BILLION OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY GOING BACK AND FORTH, SO IT'S SIGNIFICANT. IT'S AN IMPORTANT REASON WHY WE ARE HAVING THE CONVERSATION.

TED SIMONS: CONCERNS THAT NAFTA NEEDS TO GO AWAY OR BE RENEGOTIATED?

PATRICK WELCH: I THINK THE ISSUE WITH NAFTA IS LIKE ANY DEAL YOU HAVE. LOOKING AT IT TO SEE HOW IT FITS INTO TODAY'S ECONOMY, A TRADE AGREEMENT PASSED 25 YEARS AGO. CERTAINLY, THERE COULD BE IMPROVEMENTS. DO YOU WALK AWAY FROM IT? NO. YOU LOOK AT EXPANDING NAFTA, HOW TO TWEAK IT, BUT NAFTA HAS BEEN EXTREMELY POSITIVE FOR ARIZONA. I THINK WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT IT.

TED SIMONS: LET'S TALK ABOUT POLITICS, IMMIGRATION, BORDER SECURITY, ALL OF THOSE ISSUES AND HOW THEY IMPACT THE ECONOMIC REGION BETWEEN ARIZONA AND SONORA.

PATRICK WELCH: THEY CERTAINLY DO. YOU CAN'T HAVE A CONVERSATION WITHOUT TRADE WITHOUT HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION. A LOT OF THOSE ARE AT A FEDERAL LEVEL. ARIZONA AND ITS POLITICAL DYNAMIC DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF CONTROL OVER. WE CAN BE IN THERE LOBBYING OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HELP EXPAND AND ADDRESS THE ISSUES WITH RESPECT TO BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION. THERE NEEDS TO BE A GOOD BALANCE. THAT'S THE IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY. YOU CAN'T HAVE BORDER SECURITY, BORDER SECURITY AND HAVE A SOLE FOCUS ON THAT. HAVING A BALANCE WITH TRADE AND SECURITY ISSUES IS KEY.

TED SIMONS: NOT NATIONAL BUT ARIZONA, IMPACT ON THE RELATIONSHIP?

PATRICK WELCH: I THINK THAT THE VOICES COMING OUT OF ARIZONA HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT. ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT CAME OUT OF THE 108TH ARIZONA TOWN HALL WAS HAVING A CONSISTENT AND CONSTANT VOICE. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR ARIZONA AND MEXICO. IT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE ARE GOING. WE WANT TO TELL THE STORY.

TED SIMONS: WHAT I'M GETTING AT, IN THE PAST, THE RELATIONSHIP OR DYNAMIC WASN'T POSITIVE AS IT IS NOW.

PATRICK WELCH: NO. I THINK IT'S CONTINUED TO IMPROVE. CERTAINLY WE HAD SPEED BUMPS WITH SB1070. THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIG CALLS OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE 108TH ARIZONA TOWN HALL. HOW DO WE CHANGE THE STORY? HOW DO WE MOVE AWAY FROM WHAT PERCEIVED AS A NEGATIVE MESSAGE TO HIGHLIGHTING THE POSITIVES.

TED SIMONS: HOW DOES ARIZONA AND SONORA WORK NOW AND HOW CAN THAT BE IMPROVED?

PATRICK WELCH: THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF COOPERATION. IF YOU LOOK AT GOVERNOR DUCEY'S EFFORTS, IT'S BEEN CLOSE. I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE WE WERE AT THE SUMMIT IN DECEMBER AT THE GOVERNOR'S RESIDENCE. THE AMOUNT OF APPRECIATION THAT BOTH GOVERNORS HAD FOR ONE ANOTHER, COMMUNICATED TO THE GROUP IN TERMS OF SMALL SIGNS, I BELIEVE ONE OF THE GOVERNORS BEFORE HE OR SHE WAS SWORN IN, THE OTHER GOVERNOR HAD MEETINGS AND DISCUSSIONS. IT WAS A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP. SETTING THAT EXAMPLE AND MODEL FOR THE STATE IS IMPORTANT.

TED SIMONS: HOW ABOUT THE REST OF THE COUNTRY? CAN IT BE A TEMPLATE FOR U.S. RELATIONS?

PATRICK WELCH: CERTAINLY, THAT'S SOMETHING THEY LOOKED AT AND OUR LOCAL POLITICIANS IN TERMS OF BOTH GOVERNORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER HAVE LOOKED AT LIKE USING ARIZONA AS A MODEL. YOU HAVE TEXAS AND ARIZONA COMPETING FOR THE SAME BUSINESS. ARIZONA HAS TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT.

TED SIMONS: THE TOWN HALL, BUSINESS ECONOMICS, RELATIONSHIPS, MOVING FORWARD ALL FINE AND DANDY. BORDER WALL. HOW MUCH IS THAT INCLUDED IN THE CONVERSATION?

PATRICK WELCH: IT CAME UP AT THE 108TH TOWN HALL AND THE COMMUNITY TOWN HALLS HOSTED THROUGHOUT THE STATE OVER THE LAST YEAR. IT'S GOING TO BE A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION. PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING HOW YOU BALANCE THE SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS PEOPLE HAVE AND BALANCING THAT WITH HOW DO YOU DRIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IF YOU PUT UP A WALL THAT CONSTRAINS TRADE TO THE POINT WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, IT WON'T STRIKE THE APPROPRIATE BALANCE IN MY OPINION THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE. MOVING FORWARD, HOW DO YOU BALANCE? HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON THAT?

TED SIMONS: YOU TALK ABOUT A PATHWAY CLEARER BETWEEN BOTH SIDES, I IMAGINE TRANSPORTATION ISSUES ARE HUGE.

PATRICK WELCH: CERTAINLY. THAT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST FOCUSES ACROSS THE BORDER, FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL IS HOW YOU IMPROVE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE AND GOODS ACROSS THE BORDER. THE MOST STRIKING EXAMPLE IS THE BORDER INVESTMENT DONE IN NOVALI, $250 OR 300 MILLION INVESTMENT, I RECALL. HAVING THE ABILITY TO MOVE TRAFFIC ACROSS THE BORDER, ONE OF THE BIGGEST RECOMMENDATIONS WAS, HOW DO YOU IMPROVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE ROADS GOING UP TO THE BORDER ON BOTH SIDES. YOU HAVE TRAFFIC COMING BOTH WAYS. HOW DO YOU BRING TRUCKS TO GET THE GOODS OVER QUICKER, THE PEOPLE OVER QUICKER. YOU HAVE GOODS AND SERVICES AND TOURISM. WE WANT PEOPLE COMING TO ARIZONA TO ENJOY IT. JUST IN THE SAME VEIN, THEY WANT ARIZONA COMING TO ROCKY POINT OR SAN CARLOS.

TED SIMONS: THIS IS A TOWN HALL. THERE WILL BE RECOMMENDATIONS. WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE RECOMMENDATIONS?

PATRICK WELCH: WELL, THE RECOMMENDATIONS, THIS TOWN HALL IS A SMALLER TOWN HALL. IT'S A COMMUNITY TOWN HALL. IT'S NOT A THREE DAY PROGRAM. IT'S A ONE DAY PROGRAM. THE FORMAT WILL BE 60, 100, WHATEVER NUMBER ARE PLACED IN THE ROOM. FROM THAT THE CONSENSUS WILL BE DEVELOPED IN THE REGULAR TOWN HALL FORMAT THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED TO. THERE ARE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT. THE REPORTS WILL BE CIRCULATED TO BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS, BUSINESS GROUPS, NONPROFITS, BUSINESS LEADERS. THERE ARE QUESTIONS ALL THE TIME. DOES IT GET STUCK IN THE DRAWER?

PATRICK WELCH: I DON'T THINK SO. THE OBLIGATION OF PEOPLE ATTENDING THE TOWN HALL, IT'S THE LAST QUESTION ASKED OF EVERY PARTICIPANT, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

TED SIMONS: GOOD STUFF. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

Patrick Welch: Town Hall Participant

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