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Carlos Castillo-Chavez is a high profile mathematical epidemiologist from Cornell University, whose research was featured in the national media during last year’s SARS epidemic. Castillo-Chavez will join the ASU Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics this year as the Joaquin Bustoz, Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Good evening, I'm Jose Cardenas, and welcome to "Horizonte." Tonight we'll talk to Congressman Jeff Flake about President Bush's proposal that would give legal status to millions of undocumented workers in the U.S. Is it political pandering for the Latino vote, or will it become a major breakthrough for immigrants' rights to work in the U.S.? A new exhibit opens featuring the art of Mexico from the colonial period through the 1950s. We'll also meet ASU's newest professor, a high profile, award winning mathematical epidemiologist, who is equally serious about mentoring students. Some say it's a comprehensive temporary worker program that will improve homeland security, recognize economic realities, and address humanitarian crisis at the border. Others say that timing of this proposal at the beginning of an election year suggest that the president is just trying to appeal to latino voters. Here with us tonight to discuss the details of the president's immigration proposal is Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake. Welcome to "Horizonte."

>> Jeff Flake:
Thanks for having me.

>> Jose Cardenas:
The president outlined his proposal yesterday. Can you give us a summary of it?

>>Jeff Flake:
He basically wants to deal with the problem come comprehensively. I applaud him for it. He recognizes that we have a problem of those wanting to come here now from their home country and work and also those who are here illegally and present. He realizes that for national security reasons we need to have a better idea who is here. We have some 8-12 million. We have no idea really how many, and we need to know who they are, and how long they have been here, how long they are staying, and the president recognizes that. So basically, what he's saying is that if you are coming into the country, if you are wanting to come into the country, if somebody has a job that cannot be filled by a native born American, then they can advertise that job, first in the this country and then advertise it internationally, and a worker can come and fill that job if there is no American to fill it. He also deals with those who are here illegally now, saying that we need to have a process for them to have a temporary worker visa to stay here, so we know who they are and so that's basically the outlines of his plan.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Arizona under your leadership, Congressman Kolbe and Senator McCain has been at the forefront of guest worker proposals. You all have proposed legislation. How does what President Bush propose differ from the legislation that the three of you have put forward?

>>Jeff Flake:
There are a couple of things. The Bush proposal is not legislation at this point. So it's not nearly as detailed as ours is, but he mentioned a couple of things that aren't in our bill. He mentions, for example, that he wants to see some incentives for workers to return home and that perhaps we could have tax deferred savings accounts built into what is withheld, and then given as an incentive to return home. That may or may not be a good idea, but it's just not addressed in our legislation. Our legislation has a little more detail when it comes to what happens to somebody who is here illegally after they've stayed in a temporary worker situation for a time. Do they go home, do they have the opportunity to apply for LPR status or ultimately if they want citizenship, is there a path for that. His proposal isn't very detailed in that regard.

>> Jose Cardenas:
LPR being legal permanent residency?

>>Jeff Flake:
Right, or a green card.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And the president would have one three-year period that could be renewed and after that he says you have to go back to the country you came from.

>>Jeff Flake:
He does but at that time you can apply for green card status. Some people have criticized it and said well, there are only 144,000 green cards available at any given time, that's not enough to fill. He would look to congress to remedy that. There have been calls for a long time to up that number. Our legislation deals with that a little more comprehensively, I guess. The principle that the president sticks to and what we have stuck to as well is that someone who is here illegally cannot be treated better, cannot be put at the front of the line in front of somebody going through the legal orderly process in our home country. That's a principle you have to stick to. If you don't, then it's an amnesty. You are rewarding somebody here who got here illegally over somebody who is going through the process in their home country. That would be an amnesty. What the president is proposing is not. What we are proposing is not.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Critics of the president's proposal would say that the legislation you proposed has an earned legalization process and his doesn't and it's therefore deficient.

>>Jeff Flake:
I wouldn't call it that. The president's proposal simply isn't fleshed out enough. It's simply a proposal. Ours is legislation, therefore you have to go further in fleshing out the details. We foresee there being a problem, for example, with when you only have a certain number of LPR slots available, and you have in this country right now a lot of children who have been brought over by their parents who have grown up here. You have family members, spouses, you have a lot of situations where there needs to be a path for them to obtain LPR status, if that's appropriate, but what the president, I think, recognizes as we do is that most of those who are working here simply want to be able to return home and to come back and to return home. We've turned what used to be a circular pattern of migration into a very settled pattern of migration over the past decade because we've focused simply on border enforcement rather than on dealing with the problems here. We don't have serious workplace enforcement. That has to come. That's a necessary component to making this guest worker bill work.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Speaking of families, the president's proposal seems to discuss that in the context which you just described, which is the ability to return home without fear of being denied reentry. Assuming you have your papers in order. But what about those who bring their families with them, what status will their children have and their spouses.

>>Jeff Flake:
That's another little difference between the president's proposal and ours. The president says that dependence can be brought if it can be proved that they can be provided for. Ours doesn't have that provision in it. Dependence, we may deal with that later, but that's not a part of our legislation. But it is an issue. You have in this country right now all kinds of varying arrangements. You have people who are here illegally but they have children who have been in this country, you know, since birth or just after birth. There are so many arrangements like that that it's difficult to say you can never have a path to citizenship and some people take the position that it would be rewarding those who are here illegally if you said that there is ever a path to citizenship after having been here illegally. It's simply not that simple with family arrangements as they are, and that's a difficult thing to be fleshed out in a simple proposal, let alone legislation, and we're still dealing with those aspects, around we will as we go through the process.

>> Jose Cardenas:
I take it that you anticipate that there will be something when the president's proposal turns into legislation, there would be something that would allow that process for permanent legal residency, but critics are assuming that's not going to happen, and the question they ask -- let's assume that's the case, that there won't be any provision for that, what incentive would there be for immigrants without papers to even participate in the program?

>>Jeff Flake:
I mentioned with the family arrangements there has to be and our bill does provide for that. I think as we go along it will be recognized that it's not as simple as simply saying you can stay for six years and then you've got to go on home. But that will be fleshed out as we go along. A lot of those things will be taken care of as we go through the process, and the president may not introduce legislation at all. He may say, hey, the McCain-Kolbe-Flake bill is a good enough place to start, I'm going to back that. He may say the Kornen (phonetic) bill out of Texas is a good place to start. Ours is by far the closest to what the president offered so it would seem to be the logical place to start but we don't know what will happen this year.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Are we likely to see any kind of significant reform out of this term of congress?

>>Jeff Flake:
We hope so. We hope and we have said all along that it's going to require presidential leadership. We seem to get that in a big way, and if the president follows through as he did yesterday, then it is likely that we can get something. If he doesn't, it's unlikely. I can tell you to move it through the house without serious presidential leadership is going to be impossible, and through the senate it's difficult enough, but through the house, its impossible without big-time leadership from the president.

>> Jose Cardenas:
It's not going to pass without Democratic support because there is opposition in the republican party.

>>Jeff Flake:
It is, but we worked with a lot of Democrats to work out details of it. We have some Democrat co-sponsorship. I believe as we move through the process, it'll be a bipartisan bill.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Some of the critics such as the national council of lower ras is a criticize the proposal of being for the benefit of employers and really doing nothing for employees. What do you think about that criticism?

>>Jeff Flake:
Employers are in an awful situation as we have it now. They are required to check ID for people coming to work for them, but they can't check two forms of ID, they might get sued. They had to take at face value what they get and then they don't find out from the federal government for months whether the Social Security number they were given is valid. So employers are put in a tough, tough spot. They need something to happen. So the notion that we're doing this all for employers as a way to get cheap laborer is wrong. Employers are in a tough spot now. They need help, and employees are in a tough spot as well. Three main reasons for this legislation, first national security, second, to ensure that there is an adequate labor supply. We need that, and over the next several decades with our aging and increasingly educated population, low-skilled jobs will go unfilled unless we have some kind of program like this. And third, just humanitarian. What is happening on the border is just terrible, to see hundreds of people die every year trying to cross the border simply to work. That's unconscionable. We can't go with that any more.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Well, there are those who also say that what the president is doing here is simply pandering to the Latino vote, and they question the timing of his announcement.

>>Jeff Flake:
Well, I think they need to remember that the president has been talking about this from the beginning. He talked about it during his campaign. He talked about it much prior to 9/11, and 9/11 came and obviously that shifted our priorities for a while and we couldn't focus on this. But the president consistently and many of us have spoken to him over the years on this. He has always said that we need a program that matches willing workers with willing employers. That's what he has said again and again and again, so those who say it's simply politics, this isn't the first time the president has raised it.

>> Jose Cardenas:
You mentioned one of the benefits from a guest worker program is that it would enhance homeland security how would it do that?

>>Jeff Flake:
You bet. Right now, we focus so much attention simply trying to catch those who are coming here to work, and that's 99.5% of those who are coming across the border are simply coming for economic reasons and we're focusing all of our attention on them. If we have a program for them to go into a legal program, then they can go through the legal ports of entry, and that will free up a lot of resources to actually target those who would actually come to do us harm, those who are coming for nefarious reasons. We have to worry about that. The southern border is by no means secure. This is not to say that we can seal it and make it perfect, but boy, we'll sure be a lot better off if we can put most of those who come across through legal orderly channels.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Let's say that the Kolbe-Flake- McCain proposals became law, would that put an end to illegal immigration?

>>Jeff Flake:
No, no, I think you're always have some aspect of it. You'll have people who try to come across and don't want to go through the process, but if you combine it with workplace enforcement at a serious level, then you are going to dry it up considerably. There would simply be no reason for people to come across. I just don't buy the argument that some make that most of those who are coming across are coming to collect welfare benefits or this or that. That's not true. They are coming here to work, and if the only avenue they have to work is through a legal orderly process, that's what they are going to take. With employers, as soon as they can have a process where a Social Security number is checked instant background check for Social Security numbers, believe me, they'll take it. They'll jump at it. This notion that employers are all out just to exploit labor and they are paying under the minimum wage, by and large you are not. You can always find an anecdotal example where it's occurring, but in the aggregate, those here illegally are paying taxes and they are working above the minimum wage.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Are there any concerns that people would participate in the program and then when their temporary work permit expires, just stay.

>>Jeff Flake:
There is, but if you have serious workplace enforcement and you have a biometric card that identifies that person with their temporary worker visa, it's going to be difficult to do that. The incentives will be there to participate in the program. But, again, we need to recognize that most of those who are coming here are simply trying to make a better life for themselves in Mexico or in El Salvador or Guatemala or wherever they are coming from, and we used to have a circular pattern of migration where they would come and go freely across the border, nearly freely across the border, and the average stay for a Mexican migrant worker was only two years in the 1980s. Now it's 9, approaching 10. And immigrants now are far more likely, I think, four or five times more likely to bring their families across because they figure that border is tough to cross. It's expensive, it's dangerous. We only want to do it once, and then the cost for Arizonans are considerable when families come across. Healthcare, education, criminal justice costs that are heaped on us that the federal government doesn't bare as much as we do here in Arizona.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Earlier this evening on "Horizon," the Governor was asked for her views on the president's proposal and indicated that she was -- she had a favorable reaction to it. Any further thoughts you have on her views of this proposal?

>>Jeff Flake:
As much as it pains me to agree with the Governor, I'm glad she does agree here. We, in Arizona, have a special perspective, and I think the president shares that as having been a border Governor. We know the cost here in terms of human lives, in terms of costs to taxpayers. We know that it's a bipartisan issue. I think everyone knows that we have to do something about the problem.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Earlier today Stan Barnes announced that he's running against you in the next congressional election. Do you think your position on immigration reform is going to cost you some votes?

>>Jeff Flake:
I don't know. I certainly have taken this issue and have run on it on a high profile way. I think it's good policy and good policy makes good politics. So I think it's a good thing for me.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Thank you for joining us to discuss this important subject.

>>Jeff Flake:
Thank you.

>> Jose Cardenas:
A new exhibit focusing on the art of Mexico from the colonial period through 1960 is now on display at an art gallery in Tucson. The Road to Mexico features paintings, works on paper, sculpture, furniture and folk arts. Bill Buckmaster visits the Eric Firestone Gallery.

>> Reporter:
Art collector and dealer Eric Firestone is using his newly expanded gallery space in this historic foothills adobe for quarterly exhibitions. The focus now turns south of the border.

>>Eric Firestone:
Roads to Mexico brings together many different mediums of art and antiques, whether it be paintings, sculpture, furniture, jewelry, textiles. It's an accumulation of both serious pieces and things that will put a big smile on your face when you come in to see the show.

>> Reporter:
60 miles north of the border, Tucson has been a mecca for Mexican art collectors for decades.

>>Eric Firestone:
Families in Tucson or Phoenix in the 1950s and '60s that were well off would go to Mexico city and purchase art and bring it back up into this area. So we tend to see some really strong piece that is come up on the market every so often.

>>Man:
This is my favorite piece in the show. It's an 18th century Santo from Mexico. It was from a ritablo (phonetic) of the church.

>> Reporter:
Great detail on this piece.

>>Man:
It's marvelous. It's gold guild over wood, great expression. Glass eyes. All kinds of magnificent little details that really show it as a main church in Mexico.

>> Reporter:
Very nice. Roads to Mexico features three paintings by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, credited with fathering the great Mexican mural renaissance which made the names Orosco and Rivera world famous.

>>Eric Firestone:
Martinez was known for pastel on newspaper. It was his preferred medium. Preferably the "L.A. Times." That's what these three pieces are that are in the show encompass. And they are accurate historical accounts of Mexican lifestyle.

>> Reporter:
Alfredo Martinez was also a renown sculptor. This came from the Tucson jewelry store owner the late Arthur Gruenwald. The most famous artist is Jose Clemente Orosco who was a leader of the Mexican mural movement during the 1920s and '30s.

>>Eric Firestone:
These three images are very good examples of his work. They are very strong, bold and show the human versus machine elements.

>> Reporter:
Stylistically, a little bit of Diego Rivera, I see that influence.

>>Eric Firestone:
Absolutely. Especially with the middle piece here. You see expressionism that Rivera used and also with full-bodied figures.

>> Reporter:
Roads to Mexico will be up through February 13th at the Eric Firestone gallery at the northwest corner of River and Campbell.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Carlos Castillo-Chavez is ASU's first Joaquin Bustoz, professor of mathematical biology. This professorship is named after a longtime and widely respected educator of mathematics at ASU. Castillo-Chavez also happens to be a high profile award winning mathematical epidemiologist whose research was featured in the national news during last year's sars epidemic. Welcome to "Horizonte." SARS has been in the news again because of recent outbreaks in china. Let's start there. Tell us what your role was in the last go-around.

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
Well, the SARS epidemic presented a new situation in the sense that it kill a lot of people, particularly people in the epidemic. There was no experience with stopping an epidemic. The efforts that the comedians took in isolating and quarantining patients actually worked very effectively and it was the first time that it did occur. What we did, we developed some mathematically models and showed that it was possible to stop an epidemic the way the comedians did it.

>> Jose Cardenas:
You are the Joaquin Bustoz professor. Tell us about the late Professor Bustoz and what that means too.

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
It's very special to me because he was a Latino mathematician like myself. This is the first professorship named after a Latino mathematician. He grew up in Tempe. He worked in elementary schools. In fact one of the elementary schools in Tempe has his father's name. It's very special for me to have that position.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Part of his legacy was his mentorship of minority students, getting them to go to college. How does that relate to your interests?

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
It's tremendous. I had worked with him for many years and we talked about that. He wanted me to bring -- he was instrumental to bringing me to Arizona. Because his programs won several presidential awards in fact. It was tremendously important for this particularly with the growing Latino population to be sure that we take advantage of that talent and that we give them opportunities to move forward in life, to take positions of leadership and in our case we were interested particularly in the mathematical sciences. >> Jose Cardenas: You've accomplished that through the mathematical and theoretical biology institute that you founded. Tell us about that.

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
We founded in 1996 at Cornell University where I was working before I joined ASU, and it has been there for 8 years. It tries to address a serious problem which is produce mathematics professors. Essentially, there is about 15 Ph.Ds produced every year for Latinos out of about 1200, and that's a ridiculous number. Through this institute, we have managed to send about 10 to 12 Latinos every year and we want to increase that and Arizona is the perfect place for this.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Now, what was it that attracted to you ASU. You left a prestigious position at Cornell to come here. What attracted you?

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
I'm a Latino, and it was time for me now that I have achieved some recognition at a prestigious university to come and use that to help people like me, people that went through the system like me, people like Joaquin and this is just a perfect place for me.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Now did Dr. Crow influence your decision to come here?

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
I had been recruited for Arizona for 11 years or so, and I had some great discussions with Milton Glick, but what attracted me about Arizona state most recently is the vision of Michael Crow, the fact that he's expanding this campus in Phoenix and it's going to help the Latino community and everybody, the fact that it's going to increase the number of opportunities for minority students in the university. It's a tremendous vision an I want to be a part of that.

>>Jose Cardenas:
You were born and raised in Mexico; is that right?

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
I was born and raised in Mexico and immigrated to Wisconsin where I worked for a while in a cheese factory among other things. I learned about hard work. I thought it was much better to go to the university and get a degree.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And you have your doctorate in mathematical --

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
Yes, I did my doctorate in applied mathematics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and then I went to do a position at Cornell University and then they invited me to join the faculty there.

>> Jose Cardenas:
You published a book on bioterrorism. What can you tell us about that

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez
: I have been to Los Alamos there for a year and it's very interesting, homeland security, particularly in looking at the impact of the potential release of biological agents which is related to epidemiology, what would happen if an agent like smallpox or something was released in a subway system or something like that. So I organized a conference a year and a half ago and invited many distinguished people and would he wrote a white paper and out of that this book emerged. We took on bioterrorism and how mathematics related to that.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Are you a Green Bay packers fan?

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
Yes.

>>Jose Cardenas:
You appreciate what the cardinals did for your team.

>>Carlos Castillo-Chavez:
That day I became a Cardinals fan.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're glad you were on our show. That's our show for tonight. Thank you for watching. Please join us next Thursday for more in-depth coverage of issues affecting the Latino community. On "Horizonte" we try to profile the Latino community and the contributions that have been made by Latinos to ASU, to the state, to the country. We try to cover issues affecting the community. Thank you for joining us. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Dr. Guadalupe Gutierrez: Director of Research and Developement at Chicanos por la Causa;

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