Congressman Ed Pastor

More from this show

Congressman Ed Pastor discusses Immigration Reform legislation, the Light Rail Project, funding for restoration of Salt River bed, and more.

>> José Cárdenas:
Good evening, I'm José Cárdenas. Tonight on "Horizonte," immigration issues, veterans healthcare coverage and Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation are just some of the topics that U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor will talk about when he joins us in studio. Also an artist explores the changing face of culture in America, and a Spanish radio program dedicated to health and safety issues, all next on "Horizonte."

>> Announcer:
Funding for "Horizonte" is provided by Bank of America, who applauds those who strive for excellence. Bank of America, higher standards, and by SRP.

>> Announcer:
SRP's business is water and power, but our dedication to the community doesn't stop there. SRP, delivering more than power.

>> José Cárdenas:
The resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor leaves a vacancy at the middle ground between conservative and liberal interpretations of the constitution. There are also concerns on how it will affect the congressional Hispanic caucus. Joining us to talk about this and other topics is U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor. Congressman Pastor, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."

>> Ed Pastor:
Thank you very much.

>> José Cárdenas:
I'm sure about the only thing that's certain with respect to the replacement for Justice O'Connor is that it will not be another Arizonan.

>> Ed Pastor:
Right.

>> José Cárdenas:
Who will it be?

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, you know, we have Ruth McGregor, who is our chief justice, clerked for her and graduated number one at Arizona State law school, and I would tell you, I think she would make a great judge, but she's not, I don't think, on the first list, but she should be considered.

>> José Cárdenas:
So perhaps I spoke too soon, but the name that is mentioned most frequently these days is Alberto Gonzalez. Both pro and con. How do you size that one up?

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, if you notice the patterns of our president, he tends to stick with his friends. He likes to have people that he knows, that he's been around with for a while, named him the attorney general, and I think he also wants to make history. I think he wants to leave a legacy of making history, and in the Supreme Court, we have never had a Hispanic justice, so, with Attorney General Gonzalez as a Hispanic and also as a friend, because he knows Alberto Gonzalez very well. They've been friends for many years, and they've had a friendship that goes on to the time that he was Governor. I would tell you that I think he's very much on the short list and probably on the president's mind.

>>José Cárdenas:
But for this appointment? Because you hear different theories, some saying that it's easier to appoint him to fill this slot, others say, that no it would be easier for him to appoint him to fill the expected vacancy created by Justice Rehnquist.

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, the expected vacancy, if it comes, so I think right now he has a vacancy. He has a chance to do too things, name a Hispanic, a friend of his, so the opening is there. The other one is still -- still not there and when it will be there, nobody knows, but chief justice, if that happens, he may look -- I think he would look to someone on the court already, but I think this is where he looks to someone to make history almost immediately.

>> José Cárdenas:
The Hispanic caucus support Gonzalez?

>> Ed Pastor:
We had members in the caucus that wrote letters of support. Subsequent to his appointment, he has come to the caucus and he made himself available and we've talked about different issues, the torture letters where he was at, what was happening there, what his role was. We talked about the lack of more minorities in the Department of Justice. I mentioned to him, if he would look at the recent decision by our county attorney, not to charge that gentleman who was arrested for holding 12 immigrants. I said, look, I think that was bad judgment and those 12 people, obviously had some civil rights, would you check to see if they were violated. And we have the U.S. Attorney here. So it was an opportunity to have an dialogue with him and he's an impressive guy, he's smart, and obviously --

>> José Cárdenas:
-former justice of the Texas court.

>> Ed Pastor:
Former justice of the Texas court, and I would tell you that -- I would tell you that I think the majority of the Hispanic caucus would support him.

>> José Cárdenas:
Now, there seems to be amongst conservatives, a very strong negative reaction. How big of a fight will it be if Gonzalez is nominated?

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, I think they, the conservatives, they see abortion as a litmus test, and as you know, when he was justice in Texas, he made several rulings that -- I think he did one on parental consent, whether or not parental consent is needed and I think he sided with the court saying no in some cases parental consent was not required. Abortion, parental consent, the whole spectrum of cases and decisions that deal with abortion is a litmus test for most conservatives. I would tell you that I think that's an issue that he would be confronted with the most conservative element of the Republican Party.

>>José Cárdenas:
The Hispanic national bar association released a list of 8 recommended nominees. Anybody who can say that the Hispanic caucus would or would not support on the list.

>> Ed Pastor:
There has been some discussion of a judge in Texas, Garza, and I don't know him. I've never had any dealings with him, but the members of the -- members of the caucus from Texas were not very positive on it. They see him as more conservative and ridged in the decisions and if they had a choice between Gonzalez and Garza, they would support Gonzalez.

>> José Cárdenas:
Let's talk about immigration. We've got a group of very talented young people who are about to be deported because while they were basically raised in this country, they came here after they were born in Mexico. What can you tell us about their situation?

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, in this particular case, they were arrested about four years ago. They went on a trip to New York. They had won a contest, and as part of the winners of a contest, they were able to go to New York to see their projects. The teacher decided to cross the border to see Niagara Falls, and in coming back, the immigration requested papers, there were no papers, and then it was found out they were undocumented. So, this started with four years ago. For various reasons the Court has delayed deportation, and the next hearing is going to be sometime in late July, and so I've been requested by the family and I'm looking at the possibility of introducing what we call private bills, basically, you are introducing legislation that will go through the process to say do the circumstances that we would allow them to remain in this country legally -- they are now in college. They are young adults. I'm told that they are straight A students. They are kids who have never had a problem with the law. They are kids who are model students, and so you would think that this country would say, hey, young students like that is someone we want to keep in our country, because they are bright, you know they have a future and they are going to be successful. They demonstrated that, so our ex-speck station, until we have legislation, immigration reform, hopefully these private bills would allow them to stay here.

>>José Cárdenas:
There is legislation pending; something called the Dream Act that would take care of the situation?

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, the Dream Act would take care of the situation where you have someone who is undocumented and is able to attend higher education and the cost would be equal to state tuition, but the bill that would really solve this problem would be the one that was introduced by Senator MCCain and Kennedy in the senate, Congressman Flake, Congressman Kolbe and congress ban Gutierrez in the house. Basically, if you've been in this country for X-number of years, and have not had a problem with the law, and you've done everything that makes you a good resident, then they would give you a visa, temporary visa, and the next five years, if you continue to show that you paid your taxes, you worked, then you would get a permanent residency. Then after the permanent residency, after the five years of being here legally, then you could go on to citizenship. So it requires a period of time on a temporary visa, a period of time with a MIKA, and then they could go on to citizenship. We have people like these students who have shown that they are people that this country would want to keep because they are good residents, and so, we want to say, hey, for those people, they should earned legalization.

>> José Cárdenas:
Congressman, since you were last on our show, there has been a flurry of what some would call anti-immigrant legislation in the state legislature. We had the minuteman project on the border. Any concern -- do you view this as reflective of rising anti-immigrant --

>> Ed Pastor:
-yes, and I -- several things. When you have candidates running for county-wide offices that say "I'm going to solve the immigration problem" when basically they cannot do anything about immigration, it's a federal issue, where you have proposition 200, that basically, say, we're going to take all of these benefits away, or most of them have been taken away by federal legislation, I'm talking about food stamps, and I'm talking about public assistance, and so, the answer is yes, and I think part of it is people are concerned there is too many brown people. You travel into parts of Phoenix now where before you didn't see too many brown people, now you see more brown people and you go to McDonald's hamburger and you are served by basically all brown people.

>>José Cárdenas:
It's not necessarily anti-immigrant, it's anti-Mexican?

>> Ed Pastor:
It can't be anti-immigrant, because you obviously see more cultures that are here. As you see the Browning of America, it brings fear in some people. They begin to fear like where's my face place. This fear is not only to people who are not Hispanic, you will find and I have found people who are Hispanic citizens of this country who also have this problem of we have too many immigrants. The reality is, the immigration has increased, and so as you see that population grow, there is concern, there is fears, and so, then you begin to combat that by saying, we can solve this problem by doing this proposition 200 and so I think now, immigration has become a litmus test for the conservative movement.

>> José Cárdenas:
Congressman, let's talk about your citizens' workshop that's going to be taking place.

>> Ed Pastor:
Well, for many years, I've found that there are people who have been here legally, they qualify, and the barrier is that the cost of having somebody fill out the immigration papers is too high for them. They can't afford it. The convenience of having somebody fill out the papers because you have to fill out the papers, you need to pay a fee, so you need a cashier's check, and you need a photo, and one -- that becomes a problem. So what we do, we have trained volunteers that assist people in filling out the papers. We have attorneys who volunteer their time, and they make sure that the papers are filled out correctly. We have a photographer there who takes the required numbers of pictures, and we have the credit union that allows them to buy cashier's check.

>> José Cárdenas:
One stop shopping?

>> Ed Pastor:
One stop shopping. And we do the Xerox, so they have the Xerox copies and they have the copies mailed to INS. And so we have found that -- we're going to have over 200 people this weekend, but I have to tell you in the last 5 or 6 years, we've probably processed several thousands in doing that, so we think it's a community service that's greatly needed and we need to have people to become Americans because they deserve to become Americans.

>> José Cárdenas:
Congressman, it's always good to have you on the show. Thank you for joining us.

>> Ed Pastor:
Thank you.

>> José Cárdenas:
The latest contemporary exhibit at the Heard Museum examines politics and immigration in America. Let's take a look at some of this exhibit by artist Hector Luis. And here with us tonight is Mexican Kickapoo artist Hector Ruiz. Thank you for joining us.

>> Hector Ruiz:
Thank you very much.

>>José Cárdenas:
You have a very interesting background. Tell us a little bit about it.

>> Hector Ruiz:
I am Chicano, first generation here, but I come from Mexican Kickapoo a set of industry. That was my great grandmother. I had grown up visiting her and spending summers down there with her in Pierre residence negative grass Mexico, and she was kind of the last of my indigenous roots and then my father came across the border and brought us here.

>>José Cárdenas:
And you grew up in Texas and Arizona?

>> Hector Ruiz:
I lived in Texas, all over Texas and then in Arizona, so I've always been on the border in states.

>> José Cárdenas:
One of the interesting things in the materials that accompany the installation is a statement from you that you chose to live in Arizona because it is the most conservative of the Border States. Can you explain that?

>> Hector Ruiz:
I don't know if it's just like I feel an obligation to the people that are coming over and don't have a concept of what it's really like here, and so in some ways I want to help them and maybe that's through art, letting them know that people understand what they are going here threw, and just -- it can be really harsh to the new immigrants here in Arizona, especially and I just kind of want to be a buffer between that.

>> José Cárdenas:
How is that reflective in your art?

>> Hector Ruiz:
It's reflected that I try to voice not only the voice of the immigrants and why they may be coming here, but also some of the resistance. I can see the frustration in people as the numbers are growing an the state is changing around them. I see that frustration, too, so I try to play a balance between that.

>>José Cárdenas:
You have a very distinctive artistic style, can you explain that?

>> Hector Ruiz:
Everything I do is by hand, hand-carved and hand drilled. That came from traveling in India and some places overseas where I was influenced by the temple art. I knew they did it a thousand years ago and they didn't have any power tools, and I liked the looks. I came back. I thought the only way to achieve it is through the same methods.

>> José Cárdenas:
Let's talk about the concept of this stick tic installation. How did it come to be?

>> Hector Ruiz:
It came to be because it's just the reality of the minority in America. I say why the minority" because that's even changing in some places where we're the majority now. It's the idea of identity, and the reality of changing culture, as you come across the border, the culture changes too and you mix with new people and it's just the reality of the southwest.

>>José Cárdenas:
You've got a number of interesting pieces. They are all interesting in the installation, including one entitled Mexicans in America, m-i-a. Is that a play on the war term missing in action?

>> Hector Ruiz:
Yeah, it is, because they leave their home country and many times, you know, they will visit back but don't end up coming back, and it also is Mexicans in America, and it has five different ones on the hand and it each is kind of generally breaks down, you know. There is one that's in prison, one that's -- there's a deceased from all of those that don't make it here trying to cross the desert. There is the culture, the food, you know, the food pickers and the work of the U.S. Agriculture. There is a hotel worker in the service industry, and so there is also like the modern Hispanic Latino who has got his briefcase and he's doing well, 9 to 5.

>>José Cárdenas:
Now, the piece you just described may be why some view your work as controversial. What do you say to people who consider those to who consider you to be anti-American?

>> Hector Ruiz:
It's -- you know, I love this country. I've been all over the world. I've seen all kinds of places. I do admire our freedoms we have here and its the idea that America can be better and it's not at its best point, and I can see it getting better and I've seen it get better. That's where it comes, from a kind of discontent-ness with the way America is, and it's wanting it to be better, but it's not anti-American, even though I'll maybe point at some things here or there to make us look at them a little different.

>>José Cárdenas:
Do you think your work brings people together as opposed to separating them?

>> Hector Ruiz:
I do. I do. It might make you deal with some issues, but I hope I put some humor in there as well, so it at least gets it out on the table and gets people talking.

>>José Cárdenas:
Some of the things that are reflected in your art include that of the famous Mexican caricaturist, Jose Guadalupe Posada. Tell us about that.

>> Hector Ruiz:
It's just that at a time when things were done before it was all photographs.

>> José Cárdenas:
Is that the time of the Mexican revolution at the beginning of the last century?

>> Hector Ruiz:
Yeah, and he was doing the hand carving, and he was using printing presses but I admire how everything was carved by hand, and his attention to detail, and just his creativeness in coming up with imaging for the papers.

>> José Cárdenas:
Your studio, your gallery is called chocolate factory?

>> Hector Ruiz:
Yeah.

>>José Cárdenas :
Tell us about it and why that name.

>> Hector Ruiz: Chocolate factory is just --I try to promote diverse contemporary arts whether that's from Miami. -- I'm trying to get a lot of artists from out of state to come in, but it's called chocolate factory mainly because of my skin color, in a humorous way, talking about minority, minority issues quite a bit in the art, but not language as Hispanic Latin or Chicano, because that tends to separate us. Some people feel non-included, so I say chocolate.


>> José Cárdenas:
Just a few seconds left. This is outside of what we would normally expect from the heard. Can you explain that?

>> Hector Ruiz:
The curator there has been doing contemporary art since the 80s, but the new curator there, Joe baker, has really been pushing getting contemporary artists and showing that native America isn't all in the past, that we're con temporaries now, doing very contemporary work.

>> José Cárdenas:
Hector, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte." I look forward to having you back again.

>> Hector Ruiz:
Thank you.

>> José Cárdenas:
The exhibit, Hector Ruiz: La Realidad, will be on display through March 2006 at the Heard Museum locate indicated at central and Encanto. There's a new weekly live talk show on Spanish radio to help raise awareness of important health and public safety issues. Here to talk more about the show is Julie Frasco. Julie is community relation's administrator for the office of community health nursing with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. She is also the show's producer. Julie, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."

>> Julie Frasco:
Thank you.

>> José Cárdenas:
Where did the show come from?

>> Julie Frasco:
It came from a series of discussions I had had the Fortune of having with the general manager of Campesina radio. We discovered in common that there were services and information that wasn't necessarily getting to the Hispanic community that really needed to, so we thought of the idea of a call-in radio talk show. We pitched it to the network and they accepted it and we've been live since the beginning of May.

>> José Cárdenas:
The network you are talking about is the network the local version is part of; right?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes, exactly.

>>José Cárdenas:
Tell us about the network.

>> Julie Frasco:
I understand they are quite large. They are extensive across the western United States. And we are unique in that we are the first public health and public safety show to actually go live on the air.

>> José Cárdenas:
For this market?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes.

>>José Cárdenas:
Any plans to expand it to some of the other network locations?

>> Julie Frasco:
That would be delightful, but we haven't had that discussion yet.

>>José Cárdenas:
What are you doing here?

>> Julie Frasco:
Here we are focusing on services and opportunities available in Maricopa County, generally related to federally funded services that are available through public health and through fire services and public safety agencies in addition. These are services that are available in the community that were that we're not necessarily sure the word is getting out appropriately. We use this as an opportunity to explain what services are available and then give people an opportunity to call and actually talk to a firefighter, a paramedic, a public health nurse, perhaps a doctor or the director of an agency. It gives them the chance to get one-on-one information, and also establish a little bit of rapport.

>>José Cárdenas:
The show is done completely in Spanish?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes.

>>José Cárdenas:
Give us a sense of the typical format for the show. It's a weekly one-hour show; right?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes. We have two co-hosts. One well-known radio personality on Campesina radio and Johnny De Lamay (phonetic). He is the public information officer for the county environmental services division.

>> José Cárdenas:
And is himself a radio and TV veteran?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes, exactly, exactly. He's already well known in the community. It gave us an opportunity that we open the show, we talk about a relevant situation. Right now it's West Nile virus season. So it gives us an opportunity to explain to the community how they can protect themselves and their families during this season.

>> José Cárdenas:
So you have two professionals and two other hosts?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes, we always have someone from a public safety agency. We're working with Phoenix and Glendale fire departments. They will provide public safety topics, car seats, water safety, how to prevent drownings, why you should protect yourself during the holiday season when people have fireworks when they shouldn't.

>> José Cárdenas:
Do you know how the show has been received? What kind of feedback are you getting?

>> Julie Frasco:
It's a really good question. I'm glad you asked. One of the topics we discuss every show is related to childhood immunizations, why they are important and where you can get them. We also share with people topics happening in the news every day. An example is safe haven babies. So on the show we talked about what safe haven locations are, where people can bring children that are not necessarily wanted out of whatever circumstances. As a result of that show, we were asked to do a follow-up episode in the next week. We got a series of calls into the radio station, the fire department that was helping us that day and our public Health Department. We also subsequently get calls as it relates to issues that we talked about such as home births and why children need immune any decisions before they go back to school.

>> José Cárdenas:
Other shows we've talked about for years in the immigrant Hispanic community about the impact of proposition 200 on the availability of services. Has that topic been discussed?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes, actually, we pretty much mention that topic every week. The reason for that is services provided by public health are federally funded and we wanted to make sure that people understood, regardless of demographics that federally funded services such as immigration -- or immunization services, are available regardless of where you are. They are services provided to every resident of the community, same with services provided by the fire department. So we wanted people to understand that there are plenty of services available to meet their health needs, and where they can go to obtain those.

>> José Cárdenas:
Now, the show has been on for about three months?

>> Julie Frasco:
Yes.

>> José Cárdenas:
What have been the topics that have gotten the most feedback or discussion in the community?

>> Julie Frasco:
Safe haven babies, home birth registrations, what you do when you have a baby in your home. Water and pool safety was a very large topic. We had the director for the county office of animal care and control, and he had a lengthy discussion with a series of callers that called in discussing the -- how to manage and take care of pit bulls, where to get services for pets, what do animal care and control services provide and where to go if you get treated for rabies.

>> José Cárdenas:
And you talked about the Glendale/Phoenix Fire Department. How important has their role been?

>> Julie Frasco:
Oh, essential. We wouldn't be able to do the show without the partnership of public show and Radio Campesina. That's what the show is founded on is that partnership between these age seize.

>> José Cárdenas:
Julie, thanks for being on our show. I wish you continued good luck and success with the program.

>> Julie Frasco:
Thank you so much.

>> José Cárdenas:
Thanks. For more information on transcripts and upcoming shows, go to our web site, azpbs.org and click on "Horizonte." That's our show for tonight. Thank you for joining us. I'm José Cárdenas, have a good evening.

Ed Pastor: U.S. Congressman;

The four men of Il Divo
airs June 2

Il Divo XX: Live from Taipei

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

Rachel Khong
May 29

Join us for PBS Books Readers Club!

Super Why characters

Join a Super Why Reading Camp to play, learn and grow

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: