The Legal Arizona Workers Act initiative would punish businesses who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. Supporters of this initiative continue to collect signatures, despite Governor Napolitano signing the employer sanctions bill into law. Don Goldwater joins HORIZONTE to talk about the initiative.
Jose Cardenas: Good evening. I'm Jose Cárdenas. Welcome to "Horizonte." Some critics say the new employer sanctions bill won't be tough enough when it goes into effect. We will talk about an initiative to crack down on hiring undocumented workers. Plus Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson is looking to become the first Hispanic president of the United States. We will take to you a recent campaign event at a national conference of Latino-elected leaders. It's a disease affecting millions of people in the United States. Now there's a new program informing Hispanic families and patients about Parkinson's disease. All these stories coming up next on "Horizonte." There's no doubt the new employer sanctions bill is a hot issue and despite Governor Napolitano signing this legislation supporters of the legal Arizona workers initiative continued to collect signatures to put the issue up to Arizona voters to decide. They would punish businesses who knowingly hire undocumented workers. With me is the chairman of the committee, Don Goldwater. Thanks for joining us on "Horizonte."
Don Goldwater: Jose, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Jose Cardenas: We have a lot of ground to cover but let's start with why you are pursuing the initiative. Many of the people who signed it somewhat reluctant -- or supported it, cited the possibility that the initiative might go away and that this was a less drastic alternative. And yet you are going forward. How come?
Don Goldwater: The overwhelming majority of the people of Arizona want us to continue on with the polls, continue on with the initiative. The polls show right now, on a conservative side, that 83 percent of the people out there think that we should have a good, tough law that's out there. We had a governor who signed this bill basically under duress because the comprehensive 2007 immigration bill was defeated in congress. We have several representatives, Representative Gallardo, Senator Flake, Jennifer Burns, all of already stated they signed on to this bill under duress. It's the people's belief that, come the next legislative session, if not sooner, that the legislature will start to convene bills to take H.B. 27-79 apart. The governor's already talking about a special session to restrict like she did with proposition 200 to restrict H.B. 27-79 for doing its intended job.
Jose Cardenas: She has said she needs the special session to correct some flaws. And there seems to be some sentiment there are problems with the legislation. Don't you think that's a legitimate reason?
Don Goldwater: No, I don't because I think the perceptions of the flaws she is talking about are misplaced. She's talking about protecting hospitals and she's talking about protecting power plants. You have to go back to the bases of the original bill of 27-79. On the first strike it talks about you may suspends a license for up to 10 days. It also talks about having to prove knowingly and intentionally hiring an illegal alien. That's a very, very big onus to go over. And it's a very big hurdle for the prosecutor to jump through to make the term "knowingly" stick. So that doesn't come into compliance there. What the people of Arizona want is they want businesses to live up to the letter of the law. H.B. or excuse me USC. 16 - 13-24 which is being used by the federal government, when they raided Swiss transportation, when they have raided several of our restaurants here in town, for illegal aliens, that is already in compliance and that bill right there does not give business any kind of cover whatsoever. That's the beauty between H.B. 27-79 and our specific initiative is we have the basic pilot program, which helps businesses; it gives them an independent, expert third party to do their due diligence. Third party that's sanctioned by the federal government. If the businesses do that on all new hires, they can't go back after old hires because those people are out bounds. But if they use the basic pilot program under all new hires the term "knowingly" comes off the table.
Jose Cardenas: Don, let's talk about the difference, though, between the federal statute, the one that was just passed by the legislature and the initiative. One of them is that under both the state statute and the initiative, you can lose your license for a violation. And that doesn't happen under the federal. The other is that your initiative, under -- unlike the state statute as you mention, you only get one shot at it. And if it's a knowing violation you lose your license. It's death penalty as it's been referred to.
Don Goldwater: You know, this bill, this initiative that we wrote went under two or three different versions of it. And it was based on our attorneys talking to us about what they could defend in court. This was the cleanest bill. It was a no-nonsense bill. It still left in the term "knowingly" and is still used the basic pilot program out there. It seems to me that if you have -- let me talk about the federal law for a second. The states have the ability under 8-U.S.C. 16-64 to enforce immigration laws. The only way state can enforce the actual aspect of hiring an illegal alien is throughout licensing process. You cannot find a company --
Jose Cardenas: Because preemption issues. Federal government controls that.
Don Goldwater: Right. Only way you can go after a business today that is knowingly and intentionally hiring an illegal alien is by revoking, suspending the license.
Jose Cardenas: At state level.
Don Goldwater: At state level. That's why we wrote the initiative in the way that we did.
Jose Cardenas: Why only one shot as opposed to the state statute which gives you -- that doesn't happen. You don't lose your license until there's a second violation.
Don Goldwater: Well, we think it's cleaner. We think it's more defensible and more to the point. I think it sends the message to the businesses throughout the state that the people of Arizona are sick and tired of paying over $3 billion annually in taxes to medicate, incarcerate and educate illegal aliens. They are tired of their neighborhoods, the crime in their neighborhoods. We are the number one crime state, number one murder capital of the United States. We have, we are number three in car thefts throughout.
Jose Cardenas: How much of that is attributable to undocumented illegal aliens?
Don Goldwater: According to the ex-police chief from the city of Phoenix and the Mesa crime unit over the last five years 80 percent of all crimes have involved illegal aliens.
Jose Cardenas: Any other sources for that conclusion?
Don Goldwater: That's the only one I have got at the moment.
Jose Cardenas: Because the "Arizona Daily Star," for example, did a -- an article earlier this year on a recent study. And the headline says it all. Immigrants don't raise U.S. crime rate.
Don Goldwater: Ok. And I was incorrect what I said. This is a study from I.N.S. and the F.B.I, 19 -- late 2006. Excuse me. Where it talks about 83 percent of all warrants issued for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens. 95 percent in Las Angeles are for illegal aliens. Albuquerque, it's 86 percent. 75 percent of the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.
Jose Cardenas: Speaking about the "Los Angeles Times" article, there's another "Arizona Daily Star" article, or the quote you referred to. Quoting mesa please chief who was an assistant police chief in Los Angeles who says, that's simply not true. He says the e-mails that say that are wrong and by and large criminality of Hispanics is proportional to the size of the population. What do you say to that?
Don Goldwater: Well, I had a meeting with the national police association last summer in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had a chance to speak with them. And the chief of police of Los Angeles and I'm sorry I don't have his name right off the top of my head, his opening remarks were concerning illegal immigration and he said, we have lost L.A. and Phoenix is next.
Jose Cardenas: But he didn't say that there was 95% of the crime was attributable to--
Don Goldwater: The -- that is exactly what he went through to say after that is that they have a huge -- I mean, come on. Let's use common sense out there. We see it on the streets. It's getting more prevalent. We have issues now with coyotes that are bringing the war between the coyotes from Mexico and now it's transversing into our population into Tucson, we are seeing on the streets -- you know, if you talk to I.N.S. they just busted a quote safe house if you will the other day where people were tied up in a relevant, really nice neighborhood.
Jose Cardenas: But let me ask you this. On the economic impact, last week the University of Arizona released a study the conclusion of which was that total state tax revenue attributable to immigrants was $1.64 billion versus estimated fiscal cost of $1.41 billion so a net impact of approximately $222 million which seems to undercut your point about the overall economic impact.
Don Goldwater: Not really. Because when you sit down and take a look at the report what they have done is they have lumped immigrants and you just did it, too, with illegal aliens across the board. You know, when we start talking about the cost of education, which is $2 billion alone to educate illegal immigrants in this state, 30 percent of our tax dollars are going to teach people who do not speak English how to speak English in our education system. And what's really unfortunate about that is the population of the state that most needs the additional study, the additional money to help their children is not the Hispanic population, it's the Black community that's out there. You look at the statistics across the board, you will see that. You know, when I talk about $3 billion annually to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens that doesn't talk about court costs. That doesn't talk about the health costs associated with the crime. That doesn't talk about property damage. The Heritage Foundation came out with a study and basically said that of the illegal aliens who were paying into the tax system, for every dollar that they put in, they take $3 worth of government services out. And frankly I believe the Heritage Foundation and I believe the Center for Immigration Studies a lot more than a study from U of A that lumps anyone who is here who is not a citizen together in one pot.
Jose Cardenas: Presumably that would actually lessen the impact of unauthorized immigrants because if the net fiscal impact of all immigrants is $222.6 million and if the total estimated cost for all immigration is $1.41 billion doesn't that mean if you just isolated unauthorized immigrants it would be low are than that? Far low are than your $3 billion?
Don Goldwater: I don't think it would be. Once we start to reduce the number of the people that are here illegally that rely on government services that come in and clog up our hospitals we have lost hospitals down on the border, eight hospitals and doctors office had to close their doors. Phoenix Memorial Hospital had to close its emergency room because they couldn't afford to keep it open because people were coming in -- not paying for their services.
Jose Cardenas: Do you have document that is shows that's because of undocumented workers?
Don Goldwater: Not a problem. I can get that from Phoenix Memorial Hospital. I do not have the documents sitting right here.
Jose Cardenas: Let me ask you, the initiative itself, where does it stand in terms of how much support you got and when you think you will have enough signatures to get it on the ballot?
Don Goldwater: Well, right now, in hand, we have about 22 percent of the required initiatives. I was talking about our executive director, volunteer executive director. She thinks that this point in time that we have another 15 to 18 percent of the required petitions out. So we will spend this weekend and the next couple weeks going out and talking and collecting those signatures. I would like to see the signature-gathering process finish by March.
Jose Cardenas: And my sense is that the controversy over the state law has actually animated people to be even more support sifts of initiative, the threat of lawsuits and so forth.
Don Goldwater: They are. It's done; it's helped us out a lot of every time the opposition, I think it's called "Wake Up Arizona" which is kind of funny. Every time that they open their mouth and say something we get phone calls from people saying, I have had enough. I want to help. Send me petitions. What can I do? It's just growing. And it's growing stronger and stronger every day.
Jose Cardenas: I think polls show it's a pretty popular measure with the electorate.
Don Goldwater: It's very popular. We are talking in the high 80's on the polls that are coming in.
Jose Cardenas: Don, last question. If people want your information about the initiative, where can they go to get it.
Don Goldwater: They can go oh our website at azgrassroots.com or give Will Key a call at (602) 948-4551.
Jose Cardenas: Don, I'm sorry we are out of time. Hopefully we will you back to discuss this at greater length..
Don Goldwater: My pleasure. Thank you very much.
Jose Cardenas: You might not know it by his last name but Bill Richardson is the first major presidential candidate who is Hispanic. Although Richardson is trying use his Hispanic heritage to would votes from that community he says he's running as a candidate for all Americans. He recently campaigned in an event where he was among his own. Mike Sauceda tells us more about Richardson and his appearance at the Latino event.
[Cheers and Applause]
Mike Sauceda: William Blaine Richardson III was born in Pasadena in California, on November, 15, 1947 to a Mexican mother and half American, half Mexican father. He grew up in Mexico City and was sent to a preparatory school in Massachusetts. He served as a congressman, U.S. ambassador to the United Nation, secretary of energy, and diplomatic negotiator and is currently governor of New Mexico. He is now running for the Democratic nomination for president and campaigned recently in front of fellow Hispanics at National Association of Latino elected and appointed officials conference in Orlando, Florida.
Ben Lujan (D-New Mexico House Speaker): We want to support him because he's one of us. Right? But more important than that we want to support him because he has, he is the best qualified. And you have heard, you know his resume. And you continue to hear about his resume. You continue to hear about what he had in mind to move America forward.
Steve Gallardo (Phoenix Rep): We have a great opportunity that's coming in 2008 to elect the first Latino president of this great country. But we need your help. We need your help to support the governor in is efforts. We need your help to talk to other folks throughout your communities to get them on board, to have them be familiar and know who Governor Richardson is. Here in Arizona, or in Arizona, we have nearly half of the Arizona democratic legislative caucus supporting governor Richardson the efforts for president and we need your help.
Tony Cardenas (LA City Councilman): People having coming to this country for searches for a new life. And I think today, in this time, in this country, it's a significant time to see an American, Bill Richardson, who has the sensitivity, and understanding of this country, its domestic issues and knows more about foreign policy than any other candidate today. I am very proud to endorse this very fine gentleman, this fine American, to be our next president of the United States; my parents are not here anymore. But I am living their dream of witnessing our first president of the United States who has the history and culture of this man Bill Richardson.
Mike Sauceda: Although Richardson was among fellow Latinos he says he's running as a candidate for all Americans.
Bill Richardson: I am not running as a Latino candidate. I am running as an American governor enormously proud to be Latino. And I am running a campaign for all of this country. I am running to restore leadership internationally. To make us energy independent but also to deal with the issues that today confront our people. I am enormously disappointed that the congress and the president failed to act on immigration reform. We must have immigration reform. With the legalization plan for the 12 million that are here in this country that only want a better life for themselves.
Mike Sauceda: There are Hispanics who are not aware that Richardson is Hispanic.
Bill Richardson: Well, the problem I have right now is that most Americans don't know who I am, and most Hispanics don't know I'm Hispanic. So I'm trying to correct that. The good news is that we got seven months to go. My name identification with the Hispanic community is increasing dramatically. And that will be taken care of by January. But I am trying to get known nationally but I am doing well in the polls. I'm moving up. I am the only candidate that has been moving up. I know I'm still behind. My fundraising is respectable. I have organizations that are building grass roots support. I am a grass roots candidate. I am not a candidate that's going to have millions of dollars or is going to be rock star. I'm a candidate that is rock solid that has the experience and also the record to be a good president.
Mike Sauceda: For the first time in American history, Hispanics will have more of a say in the early presidential primaries. Several Hispanic-heavy states entering the early primary presidential fray.
Bill Richardson: It will help me. Nevada having an early state primary helps me. California, New Mexico, Arizona, possibly Florida. That's good for a candidate with a Latino background. But I am just not running as a Latino. I am running as an American with a solid record who wants to bring this country together.
Mike Sauceda: Although he remains in the single digits in many polls he remains confident.
Bill Richardson: Si, se puede.
Crowd: Si, se puede!
Bill Richardson: Si, se puede!
Crowd: Si, se puede!
Jose Cardenas: According to the National Parkinson's Foundation Parkinson's Disease is a complex brain disorder affecting 1.5 million people in the United States. It's estimated that 60,000 new cases are can go diagnosed each year. The disease affects both men and women from all ethnic groups. This year the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center in Phoenix started an outreach center to help inform and support Hispanic families dealing with the disease. Joining me with talk about the program is Claudia Martinez, coordinator of the program. Claudia, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."
Claudia Martinez: Thank you for having me.
Jose Cardenas: Let's talk first about why you are involved. What's your personal story?
Claudia Martinez: Well, my story is that my father had Parkinson's Disease. And unfortunately, that happened at a time when only medications and visits to the neurologists were the only treatment options available. And as he as a patient and us as a family really had a very difficult time dealing with the disease, learning the hard way because most of the time we felt that we were on our own and there were so many questions that didn't have an answer. And um basically, my dad, who used to be a very social person, little by little, isolated himself because he felt that he was different from the rest, and that he thought that he was the only one affected. And little by little, as I said, he became a very isolated and depressed person. And these affected not only his quality of life but the quality of life of our whole family.
Jose Cardenas: How did you get involved with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center?
Claudia Martinez: Fortunately while I was doing my gerontology degree I learned about the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center and I got the chance to do some practice for many hours. Then I saw a very different picture from the one I experience as a family member of a Parkinson's patient. Because at the Muhammad Ali, the patients and the families get the opportunity to have complementary therapies which are very important to improve their self efficacy and improve their self-esteem and cover many problems that go from exercise and recreational classes, support groups, education seminars and a whole variety of activities that allow them to feel they can contribute and stay as independent as possible.
Jose Cardenas: Now, the center itself is affiliated with Barrows?
Claudia Martinez: Yes, it's part of the Barrow Neurological Institute located at St. Joseph's Hospital.
Jose Cardenas: When we think of Parkinson's, we think of Mo Udall and Janet Reno and Muhammad Ali. No Hispanics at least in terms of famous ones affected with the disease. But is it a disease that impacts Hispanics equally as it does non-- Hispanics?
Claudia Martinez: Yes, it does. It does impact equally all races and ethnic groups. And almost as you said at the beginning of the program, that affected almost equally men and women. The only issue is age because most of the population affected is 60 years of age or older. But still 15 percent of the patients are diagnosed before they turn 50. Sometimes as early as when they are in their 30's or 40's.
Jose Cardenas: Now, the incidence may be the same for Hispanics as it is for other ethnic groups. But what about the outreach and making people aware of the disease? Are Hispanics different in that regard?
Claudia Martinez: Well, we at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center believe it was very important to address the Hispanic Community because there's a huge lack of information about the disease. In this minority group. On top of that Hispanics the largest minority here in Arizona. And that's why we believe that offering services in Spanish, it's very important in order for us to make possible to serve this population. The thing is that we found that there's not only a lack of information but also the language barrier that gets in between when it comes to for them to get services or to find information.
Jose Cardenas: Now, we are going to put the web site information up on the screen. While we are talking. But when you say offer services in Spanish? How is that done? Exactly what goes Santa Monica.
Claudia Martinez: Okay. So we have two main blocks on our Hispanic program. One is education, so we go out into the community and give out presentations and books in Spanish about the disease. And the other segment of our program is direct services. See at the moment we provide, we provide an educational seminar called "Parkinson's 101" which helps families and patients understand the disease and how to live with it on a daily basis, making emphasis on topics such as exercise, medications and nutrition. We also have caregivers workshop called powerful tools for care givers.
Jose Cardenas: This is all in Spanish?
Claudia Martinez: Yes.
Jose Cardenas: What's been the reaction from the community?
Claudia Martinez: It's been really good. Because people are interested not only about learning but most of the time that you go out to the community they tell you, oh, I think I know someone that has this problem. Or when you reach out and you find patients they are really grateful because they say it most every time, "Oh, I thought I was the only one. I don't know anyone in the Hispanic community that has this disease or I didn't know I was able to interact in a group that would speak Spanish instead of English." It's been really great. The response. And we already graduated our first group from that caregiver's workshop and they were really grateful and I mean the answer that they had in the evaluations were very positive.
Jose Cardenas: We are almost out of time. A few seconds left. What can we expect to see in the future from the center?
Claudia Martinez: Well, we are trying to put together more services in Spanish that will include exercise and recreation classes as well as patients' symposium that would be help possibly in February.
Jose Cardenas: We will have to end it on that note. Claudia Martinez, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Disease Center thanks for joining us.
Claudia Martinez: Thank you.
Jose Cardenas: We will have links for more information on Parkinson's disease on our Web site, azpbs.org. Just click on the word "Horizonte" in the middle of the page. Thanks for watching us on this Thursday evening. Join us next week as we discuss issues affecting the Valley's Latino community. I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good night.
In this segment:
Don Goldwater: Chairman, Legal Arizona Workers;