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July 7, 2010

Host: Ted Simons

Business Leaders Respond to SB 1070

  |   Video
  • The economic fallout from SB 1070 has grabbed the attention of Arizona’s business community. Hear how it’s reacting to the matter. Guests include Debbie Johnson, President and CEO of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association; Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, the CEO of Old World Homes and a member of GPEC’s Board of Directors; and Glenn Hamer, CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Debbie Johnson - President and CEO, Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Paul Johnson - Former Mayor of Phoenix
  • Glenn Hamer - CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Category: Immigration   |   Keywords: sb 1070,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The fallout from senate bill 1070 is pushing Arizona business and tourism groups to call for something to be done regarding federal immigration reform. Here with more is Debbie Johnson, president and CEO of the Arizona hotel and lodging association, and a member of the governor's Tourism and Economic Development Task Force. Former Phoenix mayor Paul Johnson, and CEO of Old World Homes and a member of the GPEC board of directors. And Glenn Hamer, and the CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us.

Paul Johnson: Thank you.

Ted Simons: Let's get the basics here. Is this bill, is this law hurting Arizona business?

Debbie Johnson: Without a doubt. It's hurting Arizona. It's hurting tourism, it's hurting the business industry because any time you have an image that's out there that's incorrect, people believe sometimes what they hear, and so unfortunately they're hearing a lot of bad things, a lot of negative things about Arizona. Or in the media, seems like every day. And unfortunately that perception is carrying over into business decision and travel decisions, and corporate group meeting decisions. And that's what's unfortunate for us.

Ted Simons: are we seeing actual impact along with potential impact? What's the dynamic there?

Paul Johnson: Well, it's certainly easy to gauge, but when you look at the losses in conventions or the losses of hotel rooms, it's also easy to recognize when we look at our executive director who has been going around the country trying to stop some of these embargoes and people trying to keep business from coming to Arizona, but I think there are a lot of people in the business community who are supportive of some type of reasonable immigration reform that the challenge has become that this issue is so polarized on each side, that there's very little room for debate. And that environment, Arizona loses. Because we neither fix the border problem, and at the same time we begin to frame ourselves as being something that's -- that tends to be close to a racist.

Ted Simons: Glenn, impact so far of this bill. Hurting business?

Glenn Hamer: Well, it certainly wasn't our version of the jobs bill. It has not been helpful. And you've heard already just on the convention side, the key here, Ted, is that we are going to need to push probably after the November election for the federal government to once and for all fix our immigration system. It's completely -- it's broken. And bills like SB 1070 are in my opinion a reaction to this sense that the federal side of things is just completely dysfunctional.

Ted Simons: You mentioned getting the truth out there and get can facts, information, letting people know what Arizona is really -- what are you hearing from folks outside of Arizona? What are they saying?

Debbie Johnson: They're saying it's unsafe, they're fearful of coming here, they are afraid of so many different things. A lot of it is factual information that we need to put out that we are a welcoming destination. 30-35% of our work force is minority. So a lot of the folks that they're claiming to help, they're hurting. And we haven't -- have a job to make sure we're protecting the 200,000 families that depend on the tourism industry for a paycheck. And so to communicate the facts that Arizona is still the same Arizona that was six months ago, that we're a very welcoming and warm destination and that the business is important to us.

Ted Simons: talk about -- as you're a high-profile politician at one time, the governor, the sheriff Arpaio, others in the state, they want the federal government to know there's trouble as far as immigration is concerned, there's crime that needs to be addressed, and yet, it's got to be mentioned, you start talking so much about how much crime is here and folks say, I don't want to go there, it sounds dangerous.

Paul Johnson: people are getting a message around the world that Arizona is a place where there are massive kidnappings, where the cartels seem to be in charged, where illegal immigration is out of hand and the way we're dealing with it is through racist tactics. The message and the branding exercises going on here is very, very damaging to Arizona. And what I see from the business community, and obviously they're diverse and have different opinions, but they're disappointed with our political leadership across the board. They're disappointed with the governor who ended up with a bill, that had no Hispanic support, no Mexican-American support of any type of the okayed groups. They're certainly disappointed with Grijalva who for the call for trying to create sanctions against Arizona. And they're disappointed with President Obama, that they look at this lawsuit and I think many of them see it as an opportunity where we could have used it to try to force the federal government into action.

Ted Simons: There's been some criticism of the business community for not speaking up at least publicly. There have been court battles and these sorts of things, not being a unified voice, a more public voice on this particular topic on this particular bill. How do you respond?

Glenn Hamer: At this point the business community is united. Last week 19 different groups that give GPEC a ton of credit, greater Phoenix leadership, the Phoenix chamber, groups from all across the state came together and said, we need to work together so that we can get a solution that works on the federal level. And that solution has four main components. First we said we need to secure the border. That's where the public is, and it's going to be very difficult if not impossible to achieve the other objectives with without securing our borders. We believe we need a workable employer sanction system. Companies that illegally hire workers in a knowing -- that knowingly hire illegal workers should be punished. We also believe that we need to recognize that immigration is a huge legal immigration is a huge benefit to Arizona and to the country. We're very lucky that the best and the brightest and the hardest workers from around the world want to come here. So the business community in this state is unified. We need a federal solution. It's really the only way, Ted.

Ted Simons: And yet when you -- I'm hearing we need to secure the border. I'm asking myself, how secure does the border need to be?

Glenn Hamer: More secure than it is today.

Ted Simons: But at what point does that satisfy the critics how secure does it need to be? As far as employer verification, at what point do the other sides say, that's not amnesty anymore as far as finding a legal path work? How are you going to satisfy all these different groups?

Glen Hamer: Well, in terms of complete satisfaction, I'm not sure that's going to happen. But there -- there is a solution out there, and it's going to be difficult. And it's going to take leadership from both sides of the aisle.

Paul Johnson: Current partisan system simply rewards people for being extremists and it penalizes people for being moderates. The public, the business community, people who want to see that change, they have to demand more from their elected officials. They have to demand that they cross the aisle. That they work with groups on the other side. That they look for solutions. And unfortunately today, there's just no reward for doing that.

Ted Simons: As far as an idea, a plan, rebranding if you will, getting the truth out, what tangible thing can be done as opposed to we need to get comprehensive immigration reform or something done at the federal level? Again, that gets all sides all bubbling up from their different directions. What needs to be done? Give me something -- a hard, fast thing that can be done that can turn things around for business in this state.

Debbie Johnson: First and foremost, we have to change the dialogue. The dialogue, we need to talk about the importance of jobs. We need to talk about the importance of economic recovery. We need to talk about the importance of tourism. And so you talk about rebranding, and it's not rebranding because our brand is still there. Our brand is the same as I mentioned as it was six months ago. We need to remind people about what Arizona is. And unfortunately you're talking millions of dollars there to reimage Arizona. To remind travelers to remind the business community outside of Arizona what Arizona is. So I think everybody working together needs to make those changes, we need to get the word out about Arizona, and more than anything, I think the gentlemen are right, we need to work with our elected officials and use the voice that us as a tourism industry, as a business community have and make it very clear who we support and who we don't. From our elected leadership.

Paul Johnson: We had over 300,000 jobs that were lost in Arizona last year. Another 50,000 this year. GPEC worked hard on a jobs bill. The jobs bill was something that tried to create the ability to create incentives to bring base industries here. With the loss of jobs, what we saw that came out of the Arizona legislature ended up being some gun bills, we saw the immigration bill, and a tax increase. Regardless of whether any of those things had merit or not, there was nothing done that really helped promote this state from a job standpoint. And to me it's part of their goal should have been to not just make the central focus of that last legislative session illegal immigration. They needed to also make certain that they balanced that with job creation.

Ted Simons: And yet, Glenn, supporters of 1070 will say, what needs to be rebranded? What's belong with as right now? We should be proud of Arizona because most of the country agrees with this law.

Glenn Hamer: Well, the polling numbers are strong. That may be true. But it's also very clear that there's been a very tangible business impact on our -- on many different sectors. It's also true and people forget this, that Mexico by far is Arizona's largest trading partner. There are tens of thousands of jobs for Arizona citizens today that rely on a healthy relationship with Arizona and the country of Mexico. And it goes far beyond tourism. It goes into the export sector as well. Manufacturing type jobs. I agree -- I believe Debbie made good points in terms of what the state needs to do. It's not so much of a rebranding, but it's not -- I don't think there's a silver bullet here, Ted.

Ted Simons: As far as, again, supporters of 1070 will also say, why aren't we doing buy-COTTS? Why aren't we celebrating what Arizona is doing because we're in the lead of what is showing to be pretty popular. Is that viable?

Debbie Johnson: I think somewhat. But there's so much miscommunication out there, and so much misinformation, that the bottom line for us is, regardless of how you feel about the law, there's so other ways to get your point across about that, but boycotting your own state encouraging people to boycott your own state, it's just plain wrong. The damage that's done to our economy and to our citizens is so hurtful so I think the message that needs to get out, there buycotts can help, but it doesn't replace the thousand room convention that's cancelled and it doesn't replace the calls that are down by 50 to 75% in our sales offices right now.

Paul Johnson: I think we also can demand of our congressional leaders and our two senators that we're looking for an answer. And these platitudes that keep being placed out there that tend to be polarizing as opposed to looking at working across the aisle to find an answer, we ought to let them know that's not acceptable.

Ted Simons: Glenn, last --

Glenn Hamer: it hurts me to say, when the president of the United States goes out there and makes inflammatory remarks about this bill, and does not -- has to this day as far as I know, has not said that boycotts is an inappropriate way to deal with this law, it hurts. The president of the United States should come out and say there's an appropriate way to deal with it. His administration right now is in the -- is using the legal system. But to hurt innocent families in Arizona who had absolutely nothing to do with the passage of SB 1070 is just wrong.

Ted Simons: Last question, and very quickly. Why should we not, and again, an offshoot of this question, why should we not say, 1070, it's Arizona. We did something, come visit, come join us here in Arizona as we attack illegal immigration.

Glenn Hamer: It's not a piece of legislation that brings people together. And I don't think you're going to see it at the top of the brochure for any economic development organizations.

Ted Simons: It's that divisive.

Glenn Hamer: It is.

Ted Simons: Thank you so much for joining us.

Debbie Johnson: Thank you.

Federal Lawsuit Challenging SB 1070

  |   Video
  • Legal and immigration experts respond the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of SB 1070. Guests include ASU immigration law professor Evelyn Cruz and ASU justice and social inquiry professor Doris Marie Provine.
  • Evelyn Cruz - ASU immigration law professor
  • Doris Marie Provine - ASU justice and social inquiry professor
Category: Immigration   |   Keywords: sb 1070,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The U.S. justice department yesterday filed suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. The suit claims that Arizona is trying to take on the role of the federal government in creating immigration law. Here to talk about the legal aspects of the action is Evelyn Cruz, a clinical law professor and director of the immigration law and policy clinic for ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor college of law. Also here is Doris Marie Provine, a professor for justice and social inquiry. Dr. Provine is a political scientist and a lawyer who has been researching policies surrounding illegal immigration. Good to have you both on "Horizon."

Evelyn Cruz: Thank you for having us.

Ted Simons: That background for the -- the background of the suit, that's pretty much what the justice department is claiming, that Arizona is taking on federal responsibility?

Evelyn Cruz: Correct. It's arguing that the federal government should be in charge of how we proceed with our immigration policies. And the state of Arizona is impeding on their ability to carry out the national policies that they have set for themselves and what priorities they have in enforcing immigration laws.

Ted Simons: Among the concerns, Marie, would be a patchwork of laws not good for anyone.

Doris Marie Provine: Certainly that's a big one. And it's been mentioned both by the president and it's in the brief itself that, but I think the key word is discretion that the federal government would like to maintain its discretion to enforce federal immigration law the way it sees fit. And that includes allowing exceptions in some cases, and having new enforcement that reflects other values, for example, humanitarian concerns when there is a situation of abuse and wanting to protect a witness who might be an unauthorized immigrant, but might also be a valuable source of information for a criminal conviction.

Ted Simons: It sounds like priorities, law enforcement priorities also mentioned in this suit as well. That's what Marie was saying. Discretion, priorities, all a play here?

Evelyn Cruz: Correct. The federal government already has agreement was most -- with a number of different jurisdictions regarding checking on the status of immigrants. One of the things they have is the national database in which officers can call in and find out if a person is legally in the United States or not. And that program has been in operation for a number of years. The statute in Arizona speaks to use that program to aid it in enforcing 1070, and the federal government's concern that it's going to be overwhelmed with calls from Arizona and not be able to serve other priorities such as handling the call from an officer who has an individual who has commit add serious crime, the -- versus having someone who just had a traffic ticket.

Ted Simons: Is that one of the reasons law enforcement, or just enforcement of this particular rule, is not a singular goal of federal immigration policy? Because you know, enforcement does not seem to be a priority at the federal level like some in Arizona wish it were.

Doris Marie Provine: Well, there's quite a bit of enforcement going on. There are -- what is it, about 300,000 people in detention at this moment under federal supervision. There's certainly active enforcement occurring at the border as the sheriffs in Arizona and other states have said. And there are actions that actually pull people who have been living in the interior of the United States out and encourage them to deport voluntarily or put them in removal proceedings. So I would disagree with the argument that there's no enforcement going on. There's quite a bit of enforcement going on. But as we said earlier, it's a question of who's going to do the enforcing, and at the local level, there's some resistance to being part of that. What Arizona has done is it has basically mandated that local law enforcement get involved to the maximum extent possible in enforcing -- and prioritizing immigration enforcement above everything else. That's one of the reasons you see some local police departments, local police chiefs and even actually officers, there are a couple who have brought suit against the state because they think this is a big mistake for them.

Ted Simons: I notice as well reading up on this Congress decided against criminal sanctions against those looking for work in terms on the federal level. That is yet another nuance as we've discussed earlier, that separates federal law from what Arizona is trying to do. Correct?

Evelyn Cruz: Right. The federal law has criminal and civil ramifications to a person in the United States illegally. The majority of them are civil. Relating to working with documents that are false, you can have a civil and a criminal finding, but most of the time the fact you're in the United States illegally is going to be a civil violation. And so that is different -- that difference the federal government has created is part and parcel of the policy of dealing in -- with a large issue by parceling it out into those things they feel are severe enough they should be criminalized, and those other issues that are important but do not present imminent danger to the general population, and therefore are civil.

Ted Simons: We had the Phoenix police chief here, and his concern here was that the law makes him arrest for a criminal offense something that is a federal often times a federal civil offense. If he doesn't arrest, he can be put to task by the citizens of Arizona.

Doris Marie Provine: He could be sued.

Ted Simons: If he does, he violates federal law.

Doris Marie Provine: Well, he is contradicting federal law. In a sense, what Arizona has done has create add crime where nonexisted, as Evelyn was saying. And it also forcefully rearranges the priorities of police departments. And that's one of the reasons chiefs are against it. Most chiefs these days are really advocates of community policing, and they see their own success in making a community safe in terms of having everyone in the community who was there, including people who don't have any right to be there, willing to call the police in an emergency or if they seek criminal behavior. And so this puts police who believe that that's the way to get community safety into a really awkward position, because now they've been kind of drafted against their will, some of them, as immigration agents. So you can imagine why this is controversial at that level.

Evelyn Cruz: And the federal government has to advocate it to that community policing, creating programs for individuals who assist in the prosecution of violent crimes, creating visas for those individuals. Now we have a situation in which the different police departments fear that they cannot utilize those Visas to get witness as to participating a criminal prosecution of a severe crime.

Ted Simons: We've talked a little bit about this kind of, touched on this, but for those who hear supremacy clause, who hear preemption, the commerce clause, obvious lay a big factor in this suit. Quick definitions for us.

Evelyn Cruz: The supremacy clause is in the constitution, article five, that says the federal government is the supreme law of the land. What that means is that the states have to follow laws that the federal government creates, that affect -- the 48 states. The 50 states, sorry. Just remembering a case in my head. At that point it was 48 states. It's 50 states. And what is said that either Congress has specifically spoken to the issue, we will do X, Y, and Z, don't touch it, in immigration they haven't done that ever. They could have feel preemption, meaning they have a complex, comprehensive system that addresses the issue at hand, or they can have a situation when there's a conflict, that the state can act in it, but not in a way that interferes with the federal interest that they're trying to protect.

Doris Marie Provine: It's really pretty straightforward as a concept. It's kind of like what families do. I'll take care of that, no, I'll take care of that, and we've got a federal constitution that divides things up and gives local states and cities and towns for that matter power to make a lot of kinds of law, but it also reserves certain things to the federal government. And there's not a lot in the constitution that spells this out, so your ordinary person might not see it right away. But the federal government was given the power to terminallization, who gets to be a citizen, and who doesn't. And the court thes have expanded that to say in immigration the federal government has preempted most of the authority with just a little bit left in a few exceptional situations to the localities.

Ted Simons: Very quickly A. couple of questions here. Why can't local law enforcement enforce federal law?

Doris Marie Provine: Well, we go back to that issue of discretion. And if you have an agency, an agencies that have their own policies for making certain things happen, for example, a state department is involved in diplomatic relations, and as Evelyn was mentioning there are issues of serious crimes where other kinds of Visas or even just protecting someone might be in the interest of our government, then having someone else come in and attempt to take over that area causes -- could cause problems. Plus, as Evelyn mentioned earlier, there's the whole issue of how many resources are going to be devoted just to Arizona. We've done pretty well with border guards, but are we going to be able to demand that kind of attention for the interior of the state as well?

Ted Simons: And their there are foreign policy issues as well. Last question, supporters of 1070 say it's just Arizona doing what the feds won't do. Is that a legal argument in this case?

Evelyn Cruz: Unfortunately you have to be able to show that they have a right to do so. You cannot use the -- a law to proceed with a political agenda. It has to be grounded on a basis in the constitution or in any act of Congress that states that the -- that they can do so. The state has been given the ability to enforce some immigration laws through agreements, but -- the agreement was Maricopa County to look into the status of individual who's are in the jails is one of those examples. However, the state can then turn around and say, OK, we're going to get ourselves involved in this. It's dangerous for the cohesiveness of the country.

Ted Simons: All right.

Doris Marie Provine: Bottom line, Arizona is doing something the federal government doesn't want to do, and the federal government is doing something Arizona doesn't want it to do.

Ted Simons: All right. That's a good enough place to stop. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.