Ray Borane

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HORIZONTE talks to Ray Borane, former mayor of the border city of Douglas. He recently joined Governor Janet Napolitano’s staff as a policy advisor for immigration and border issues.


Jose Cardenas:
>>> Good evening. I'm José Cárdenas.

Jose Cardenas:
>>> The U.S. state department issues a warning about traveling to the border city of Nogales. Also, in S.O.C, sounds of Cultura, the work of one of the 20th centuries most influential photographers, Edward Weston is on display here in the valley.

Jose Cardenas:
>>> And, the Latino vote, motivating factors, turnout expectation and more. All this coming up next on "Horizonte."

Jose Cardenas:
>>> Welcome to "Horizonte." this month, the U.S. state department issued a travel alert for the Nogales crossing at the Arizona-Mexico border. The warning was prompted by an escalating drug war in Mexico. Joining me to talk about this and other border and immigration issues in Arizona is Ray Borane, former mayor of Douglas and now adviser to Governor Janet Napolitano on border issues. Mayor, it's good to have you on. It's hard to think of somebody who is more familiar with border issues than you are. Our audience needs to know about. That tell us about your background.

Ray Borane:
>> Originally I was involved in the education system. That is basically my background. I have been the mayor of Douglas for 10 years.

Jose Cardenas:
>> You were born in Douglas.

Ray Borane:
>> I was and I graduated high school there and the university here. I went back and i was a classroom teacher for a few years and then i got into administration and ended up being the superintendent of the school district and later went on to the state department of education where I was the deputy state superintendent of public instruction. I served three years at northern Arizona University as assistant to the president who is Gene Hughes at the time. And decided that I would get involved in trying to help my border community at Douglas, Arizona, and went back and was elected mayor and served 12 years.

Jose Cardenas:
>> It's across the border from the Mexico counterpart?

Ray Borane:
>> That's right. The northern most part of Sonora as is Nogales.



Jose Cardenas:
>> You have been an outspoken critic or commentator on border issues like on the bill riley show. Is that a fair assessment of who you are?

Ray Borane:
>> I always thought when i ran for political office, I didn't have any allegations of anybody. It wasn't my livelihood. I didn't depend on it for my substances. I fell if you feel like something is right, you speak your mind and that's what i have done. I haven't done it with any particular personal interest or any special interest group that had prompted me to say what I said.

Jose Cardenas:
>> We'll talk about some of those issues such as the fence along the border. Right now i do want to talk about that warning that the state department issued about Nogales. What can you tell us about that?

Ray Borane:
>> First of all, it must be noted by the American public especially the people in Arizona that frequent the border communities, that unfortunately sometimes the warning itself is probably more alarming than the realistic situation. And anytime you travel in any foreign country, people should be concerned about, you know, where they go in that foreign country not to get off the beaten track especially in border communities and be especially vigilant about who you talk to, how you dress. You don't want to flash allot of money and you don't want to look flamboyant and go about your business. Generally you will be all right in a border community. The thing that rachets this up is when you get the border alert. People need to know these happenings are strictly centered around the families and people doing illegal trafficking in drugs and basically and most part drugs and sometimes illegal human trafficking. You should be always conscious of where you are. And especially in the evening. However having said that, i don't think that there's any problem. I can truthfully say that if you are not involved or you don't have to get involved with somebody that is involved. Sometimes people do get caught up in accidentally and literally an innocent bystander. By and large travel in Mexico is safe as long as you stay on the beaten track. You know where you are going. You know who you are talking to and try not to deviate from that at all.

Jose Cardenas:
>> have we had any innocent by standers from Arizona who have been harmed or killed in Nogales?

Ray Borane:
>> I was in touch with two Mexico consulates yesterday and i was in Mexico yesterday and I spoke with the presidente and there hasn't been any innocent bystanders recently. There was an incident south of Nogales where an American was involved. This individual was involved in the illicit trafficking. They don't want to or don't like to count her as that. You know, so many times Jose, I get--especially when I was in office I was asked by people to intervene with someone in the sister city that may have been involved in the justice system or charged with something. And then it becomes a different issue and people need to know the distinguish that between that and the violence that's going on within the area in the city. Because you are in the Mexican border community, they also is have laws and justice system. If you break one of laws, they will apply the punishment to you. You need to make those two distinctions. Nine times out of 10 when I tried to intervene or assist someone on the border, I found out for the most part the person that was involved or incarcerated had broken a Mexican law flagrantly. Those two distinctions is it safe in Mexico? You if obey the law and stay away the activity of the people centered and concentrated in that circle, you should be fine.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Mayor I am certain that the reality is okay. Whether that's a reality there's a perception and damaging tourism on both sides of border. What are you or the governor doing about that?

Ray Borane:
>> for the most part I have to tell you the governor overall the years I have known her since he was united states attorney, attorney general and now governor has probably got the best insight of any public official in the state of Arizona probably ever has had regarding border issues and Mexican not only the trade and the commerce and the tourism. But also knowing what's going on at the border per se. There's constant communication between her office and Mexican officials and information and exchange of information is always very important to her. I can tell you she's always right on top of it. I personally try to stay at the local scene as I was in Nogales last week when this occurred.

Jose Cardenas:
>> On the Mexican side?

Ray Borane:
>> On the Mexican side. Also I was on the Mexican side of the border for two straight days in the sister city in Douglas. In talking to the law enforcement officials and in Douglas interacting with the Mexican army and just getting the feel for what they are doing on that side of the border. The Mexican army is very involved. Their primary charge is finding the drug trafficking because it's prevalent all over Mexico. I don't know if you know anybody that knows about Mexico know that the president has taken a very strong stand. The president of Mexico. Has taken a strong stand against them and using the Mexican army to combat this and it has caused this environment of violence and fighting over different turfs and routes and ironic enough to get into this country to sell their goods.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Mayor, let's move on to some other subjects some which are near and dear to your heart for years. The border fence. What is your view on that and where does that stand now?

Ray Borane:
>> I've seen that border fence and saw it this morning. I have seep it for years. I was in Douglas when they tore down the old one and one there being replaced by the new wall. I think anybody--a simple deduction is you cannot cover the entire bored we are a fence. Even if you have a fence, i see it on a daily basis--even if you have a fence and it's from Douglas to Tijuana there's always going to be a weak spot. The weak spot could change from day to day because the border patrol as good a job as they are doing with what they are being asked to do, cannot cover every single part of that fence on a routine basis. It's just impossible.

Jose Cardenas:
>> are we wasting our money in building it?

Ray Borane:
>> It's my opinion the wall and fence is not the way to go. There's so many ways I think--you know, the wall is enforcement. That's one part of dichotomy. The other part is what do you do with them in the country and address that situation? That's how I see it. The wall, to me, is something that i think the money can be better spent in education or any of health programs or the programs in dire need of funds now.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Mayor, what are the governor's priorities for the state of Arizona as it relates to the border and immigration?

Ray Borane:
>> Well, the governor is very, very aware of the immigration situation. I know that she's for--she's implemented programs such as the identification program. You know, she is for a temporary worker program which would help out the economy and state of Arizona in areas that are desperately in need of that type of work. And there are just so many things that she's involved in and her interaction with governor wars constantly in trying to improve the trade and the commerce and the flow of goods, legal flow of goods both ways is something that she's always deeply involved in. She has many programs that and understandings and agreements with Mexico that do nothing but enhance the betterment of the immigrants and immigration issues in the state.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Mayor, my sense is at the governmental level with Sonora, Arizona and the governor are viewed very favorable. More at the local level, are we being perceived as very hostile to immigrants with employer sanctions and other measures such as we have had?

Ray Borane:
>> I think employee sanctions were needed definitely. The laws are on the book and they need to be enforced. However I don't think they should be enforced to the detriment to the economy of the state. You know there's the human side of this is that when you impose those kinds of laws on people, you have to be concerned about how they affect the individuals and their families. You know, you have situations where you have people who have families in the United States, citizens here. That it breaks families up. We would have to maybe the mother or father or both would have to return to Mexico and leave the children here. You know, it's such a far-reaching effect that it needs to be looked at realistically like she does. I think that anything that can lead to a temporary worker program or to have them legally stay in this country one way or another to not only benefit the state of Arizona but benefit themselves and families is a way to go.

Jose Cardenas:
>> And mayor on that note, we have to wrap this up. Thank you for joining us tonight. It's good to see you.

Ray Borane:
>> Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
>>> Beautiful landscapes and unique compositions, it is the artistic exploration of Mexico through the lens of one of the most influential photographers, Edward Weston. In tonight's S.O.C., sounds of Cultura, Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez shows us how Weston's experience in Mexico helped paved the way for his successful career on film. ¶[ music ]¶

Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
>> It's a collection of dramatic still life and landscape photographs of Mexico from one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Edward Weston's collection of 60 black and white pictures and handful of written journals and letters to family and friend are on display at the phoenix of art museum.

Jim Ballinger:
>> What makes this show on Weston important is that if you look at other landscape and cloud studies that were done even months later, you see a very sharp, clear focus which is what modern photography. He and Ansel Adams and other California artists particularly were in the front end of creating what we think of as modern photography.

Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
>> He was an American photographer in the early 1900s struggle to make a name for himself in the industry until 1923 when he visited Mexico. He lived there until 1926. It was three years he found inspiration in Mexico. He photographed culture and scenery. Was one of two photographers who used large camera to create black and white photographs perfectly focused in rich in detail and abstract most are Mexico craft, cultural scenery and landscapes. It was known as Mexico renaissance and he brought it to life for all to see.

Jim Ballinger:
>> By being a lens, if you will, on to life and people of the Mexico and because of his reputation making that material available it helped people to understand Mexican culture. I don't think he changed a perception in America necessarily. I think he informed people. You see through his comments in his day books and letters to friends they would be mixed with both this hand photography but, wow, I saw this beautiful plaza and described the architecture of a place. He would refer to other artists he was meeting and know and how wonderful they were. He did give a personal sense.

Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
>> This is the first time Weston's photographs are exhibited in the valley. It is through a partnership for the center of creative photography of U of A that the phoenix art museum is able to share the original pieces with Arizonans.

Jose Cardenas:
>> You can see the "Edward Weston: Mexico" exhibition on display at the phoenix art museum at central and McDowell until November 15th.

Jose Cardenas:
>>> from the struggling economy to immigration policies, organizations promoting voter registration have been encouraging the Latino community to vote based on issues in this year's local and presidential election. They are also urging the Hispanic population that historically has had the lowest voter turnout to hit the polls in November. Joining me to talk about factors motivating Hispanic voters and more is Carlos Duarte, Arizona State field director for "mi familia vota," my family votes, a non-partisan and non-profit organization that is aiming to promote civic involvement in the Hispanic community. Welcome.

Carlos Duarte:
>> Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Let's talk about the organization itself. What is it?

Carlos Duarte:
>> Basically we are trying to promote civic engagement and civic participation in the immigrant and Latino community. The goal is to help people come up a notch. For example, you can have a resident and goal is to help them become citizens. We have a citizens, our goal is to help them register to vote. If they are registered to vote but not reliable voters, then our goal is to promote voting among that population. So that's basically the goal is to promote civic participation.

Jose Cardenas:
>> This is a national effort?

Carlos Duarte:
>> It is a national effort but we are targeting right now mostly Colorado, Arizona and Texas.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Where in Arizona is the organization active.
Carlos Duarte:
>> We are very active in Maricopa, Pima and puma. We are visiting what is called low-propensity Latino voters which is people who voted one in the last three general elections. It's interesting to know there are 300,000 low propensity Latino voters registered to vote and not going to polls consistently.

Jose Cardenas:
>> 300,000 within the state of Arizona?

Carlos Duarte:
>> That's correct. That are registered and not voting. A lot is made about getting people to register to vote and in that sense there are 300,000 people that are registered to vote Latinos. What we have seen is there is this group of people registered and taken that step. The only step they are miss something to go out and vote.

Jose Cardenas:
>> What about at the national level, as I understand nationally last set of presidential elections there were 7.5 million Latino voters.

Carlos Duarte:
>> That's correct.

Jose Cardenas:
>> What's the expectation this time around.

Carlos Duarte:
>> It seems the people tend to blame the Latino community for not turning out to vote, right. They assume this time it will really happen. This is when the giant will wake up. What i tell people is it's a process where you see more and more people getting engaged. What we have seen is when we talk to people at least 90% of the people that we talk to say that they are not participating because they are missing one piece of information. For example they don't know how to register to vote or fill out the ballot. That process is really important and that's what our organization is trying to do in order to promote that vote. For this year on a national level it's expected that 9 million Latino voters are going to be casting their votes. That's an increase of 1.5 million votes in this one years. 13 it's interesting to note where they are coming from. At the national level there has been this historic effort really to get at least 1.4 million new citizens become registered to vote. This is not only Latinos obviously other ethnicities and nationalities as well and this is a national effort that come about as a result of the immigration debate. In 2006 the effort was today we march. Tomorrow we vote. Some demonstrations yes and they vote right now.

Jose Cardenas:
>> You mean now is the time?


Carlos Duarte:
>> Now is the time to do it. They said okay we are demanding to have fair immigration reform and we are marching and we have a lot of highlights and people and we realize unless you are casting your vote, then you don't have that much of a say. So this national effort has happened in the past couple of years. It was very successful where 1.4 million people have applied for citizenship and 900,000 of those will be eligible to vote on this election.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Give us an idea of the scope of the effort in Arizona. How many doors are you knocking on? How many do you expect to knock on come Election Day?

Carlos Duarte:
>> It's an ambitious effort. We are talking on 42,000 households. And as you know, Latino families are comprised by more than one voter. This is a huge effort that we are doing. We are expecting that 25,000 of those low propensity Latino voters will come out to vote in this election. Last election i believe there was participation of 12.5% of the Latino vote coming out. We expect to increase that substantially. I don't want to make any predictions. It's early. We have two more weeks to go. What i can tell you is that there has been an amazing response at the doors. Every door that we're knocking, people are very excited about participating in this election. They are happy that we are there providing them resource toss do both by mail and providing them now at this stage with information on early voting places and that people are very excited. We do hope to get this huge push to get the Latino vote out.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Now you are officially non partisan.

Carlos Duarte:
>> Yes.

Jose Cardenas:
>> I imagine some of the comments you get when you knock on the doors has to do with the local races, for example, the sheriff's race. What do you have to say about that?

Carlos Duarte:
>> People are eager to get information not only from the media but from a trusted source. Where do we go on these issues that are affecting our community? Because we are none partisan we tell them and we are always doing quality control calls to make sure our canvasses do it right way of training. We can't tell them how to vote and we direct them to the different sites. We direct them to the resources where they can go and connect to the state resources where they can see where the races are and, you know, how and what the positions of the different candidates are with regards to issues that are important to us.



Jose Cardenas:
>> He have the web address on the screen. Let me ask you this. There is one proposition that you are taking a stand on. That's payday loans. Why is that?

Carlos Duarte:
>> We have seen the main issue is affecting the Latino community and everyone in the country and globally is the economy. And we know that a big motivator of this problem has been the irresponsible lending that has happened across the nation and state. When we are knocking on the doors we see people that say, you know what, i fell in the trap in this particular. It's interesting in Tucson this family they have these--

Jose Cardenas:
>> I apologize. We don't have time to get in detail. The basically the position is to oppose.

Carlos Duarte:
>> oppose prop 200 because the interest rate they are charging and loans structured get people in debt and that's affecting the community.

Jose Cardenas:
>> Thank you for joining us.

Carlos Duarte:
>> Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
>>> Next week, Matthew Allen, the new special agent in charge of the state's immigration and customs enforcement in Arizona talks about his priorities for the state when it comes to human smuggling and more. That's next Thursday at 7:30. That's our show for tonight. I'm José Cárdenas. Have a great evening.

Ray Borane: Adviser to Governor Janet Napolitano on border issues and former mayor of Douglas ;

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