Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 25, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Congressman John Shadegg


  • shadegg discusses his trip this week to Iraq, a plan he has to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, and immigration.
Guests:
  • Republican Congressman John Shadegg -
  • Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva -


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon": Republican Congressman John Shadegg And Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva join us to talk about issues affecting the nation and Arizona, such as immigration. Plus, Representative Shadegg will talk about his recent trip to Iraq. That's next on "Horizon".

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Michael Grant. Before we talk to two of our Arizona congressmen, here's the latest news. Citizens Clean Elections Commission voted unanimously today to uphold an administrative law judge's decision that State Representative David Burnell Smith vacate his office and pay fines for overspending his public campaign funds budget. Tuesday, Administrative Law Judge Daniel Martin had ruled that the commission was correct in March when it ordered Burnell Smith to vacate his office and pay fines for overspending his budget by 17\%. Clean Elections law requires that any officeholder overspending public campaign funds by more than 10\% should be removed from office. The commission also voted to uphold the judge's decision that he repay over $34,000 in campaign funds and pay a $10,000 fine. Burnell Smith has 30 days to petition the commission for a new hearing or to take the case to Maricopa County Superior Court. Tonight we have one-fourth of Arizona's Congressional Delegations in our studio. We will talk to Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva of Tucson in a few minutes. But joining us first is Republican Representative John Shadegg of Phoenix who will talk about various issues, including his trip this week to Iraq. And you were flown by a black hawk chopper manned by an Arizona crew.

>> John Shadegg:
Absolutely, one of the surprises of the trip. You spend the night outside the country, in our case we spent the night in Jordan. We through flew into Tekut one day, spent the day in northern Iraq, the second day we flew into Baghdad. It's a C130. You land and immediately move from that plane to black hawk. They take you to the green zone by helicopter. We walked over and got on the helicopters, you're juggling all this stuff, carrying a camera and materials to write on, wearing body armor. The crew signalled to take my helmet off and put on headsets. About that second, they shoved an Arizona flag in my face. They said sign it. It turned out the crew of my black hawk was from Arizona, and the crew of the second black hawk was also from Arizona, Papago. They had big Arizona flags on them, I signed an Arizona flag for them, and they gave me an Arizona flag they had signed. It was kind of fun. There are a number of them on here. There was a Lieutenant Tim Woods he was the Captain,. Warrant Officer Pat Conan and Tommy Morales were the crew on my helicopter. This includes the signatures of some of the others. So it's kind of fun and they're all from 189th. The coyotes, spelled K-Y-O-T-E-S, Arizona Air National Guard. So they're all out of Papago, we have all driven by that facility. Kind of fun, halfway around the world and you run into a crew of Arizonans.

>> Michael Grant:
You signed it, thanks for keeping us safe, which we echo. The Sheehan protest in Texas has been front and center for the past few weeks. How much of that news and information do they get there and how do they react?

>> John Shadegg:
They are on line, live time. Every room you walk into, they've got American television, with CNN or some other station playing, and have access. Some of them, my first day, I went in with a patrol leader, a Senior Non Com Sargeant, who was a great guy to interview, he was high enough in the ranks that he commanded a number of troops but not one of the officers that would be briefing me and kind of with a spin. It was an accident that I ran into this guy. He told me interesting things about how things are going. Those are the guys you search out. You get briefings from the officers, the generals, you know, they've got a job to sell and part of their selling is what's going on there. You don't want to ask the privates because they don't have anything to judge it against. Finally, a senior non-com. I'm chatting with him. He had lived in a metal shipping container, 8 feet by 8 feet. He had his own television, coffee pot, life couldn't be better. They see news all the time.

>> Michael Grant:
What's their reaction, for example? Obviously you can't characterize the entire group but what kind of feedback? If any?

>> John Shadegg:
I think generally, they get angered by it. They think the coverage is much more negative than what they encounter each day. In part, they are angered by the coverage because they see that the insurgency characterizes its action to influence not in an Arab world or in an Iraqi public, but in, towards American public. For example, there was a demonstration the day before I went there, which said no federalism. And yet, while nobody there speaks English, the signs and protest were printed "No Federalism" in English. The insurgents and foreign fighters in the country fighting against the Americans are very much geared toward influencing American media. When our soldiers see that having an impact and the American press picking it up, or just the western press, the press in England, anywhere else, it kind of makes them mad because they're publicizing the bad side, things that don't look so well, and not publicizing what they're doing. Kind of like giving the other team good coverage.

>> Michael Grant: What's your read on where their constitution is at this point?

>> John Shadegg:
Very very tough, the Shia and the Kurds are on board, the Sunnis boycotted the election. They're really entitled to be at the conventions in any significant numbers, and so they're negotiating from kind of a behind position. On top of that, the Sunnis were the repressive regime under Saadam, and so they're feeling they're being left out. That's the challenge, is to put enough compromise into that document so that the Sunnis get on board, then you'll have all three major ethnic divisions on board.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously, a part of politics is the fine art of compromise. I wonder how fine this art is, I'm not a student of their constitution but I have seen excerpts and for example, there's one provision of the constitution that basically says no law shall be passed against religious law. There also is another provision that says no law shall be passed violating individual liberties or words to that effect. It almost seems like you're not really compromising here, you're just delaying the train wreck.

>> John Shadegg:
Two things about that. One, the call, the current temporarily law they have in place, administrative temporary law, where you have a statement that says one and another is the antithesis of the other. They're mutually contradictory but at least they each got them in. Now we're in the process in the constitution trying to sort that out. One of the hot things is whether Islamic will rule over everything else. The Kurds don't want that. The biggest fights have to do with who has power, that's kind of critical and another fight that people in America don't realize is the fight over the oil. The Sunni are the powerful minority that used to in be power. The ShiA are the majority. The Kurds are yet another minority. The oil is largely on lands owned by Kurds and ShiA. If the Kurds and Shia would align, the Sunni would be way short of oil, in deep financial trouble. This is negotiation over resources, which means negotiation over vast amounts of money.

>> Michael Grant:
What's your best call? Will there be a constitution to be voted on this fall?

>> John Shadegg:
I think there will be a constitution to be voted on this fall. I hope and pray that the Sunni have enough buy-in that they ratify it. If that happens, then I have no doubt that the elections in December, where they select representatives, will be a huge success. One of the common sentiments there is the rank and file Sunni populous recognize boycotting the last election was a serious mistake. It's part of the reason they're under represented and have to beg to be in these negotiations. If they can come up with something approaching a fair compromise, it will be ratified. And I think a huge turnout at the elections in December and we'll in place the cornerstone of what America wants, which is a government that by and large reflects the people of Iraq and not a repressive dictatorship.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously, a lot of Americans are saying, all right, when are we going to get out. A lot of politicians suggesting let's establish a timetable. What do you think?

>> John Shadegg:
I think that's a disaster if you mean a date on a calendar. The insurgents and foreign fighters that are there don't know, okay, time out we don't have to do much between now and that date because on that date America walks and we can create all kind of chaos. I think there is in place now a timetable and that is ratification of this constitution and then the election that occurs in December. And what's happening is we are standing a huge number of forces, Iraqi Army that are taking the load. One of the most fascinating things was what I heard from the Idaho National Guard Sergeant, platoon sergeant going in which was later ratified by the briefings I got, once I asked him, what's your role with the Iraqi forces and what's your opinion? Are they as bad as the American media portrays? He said, I got here in January. I spent part of January, February and March training Iraqi troops. They are dramatically better than portrayed in the American media, better than they used to be. I can give them independent assignments and engage them and they will do that. They have 11 check points around the city, they go and man those, I don't have any of my guys doing that. This is a guy whose platoon has two or three duties while there. One is clearing roads. Second is escorting our convoys and third is training Iraqi troops. He said one it is true when I go on joint operation, I think they fight more aggressively when I'm standing shoulder to shoulder but he said they are reliable, I can fight side by side and assign them to fight independently.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona Congressman, John Shadegg. Appreciate you joining us, particularly once you got back. Why don't you go get some sleep?

>>John Shadegg:
Sounds like a good idea.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me to talk about issues affecting Arizona and the country, including immigration, is Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva. Former chair of the Pima County board of supervisors. Is Pima County still there after the storms?

>> Raul Grijalva:
It's still there and didn't take the battering that some people anticipated. Water is good and for that we are grateful.

>> Michael Grant:
Just don't need it all at once.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Not in a period of 8 hours. That's a little too much

>> Michael Grant:
Let's stick with Iraq, Congressman Shadegg thinks things are improving, he relayed a story about the non con saying that the Iraqi troops are better trained than the media portrays them. Are we making progress in Iraq or not?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think that question is still up in the air, I really do. I really believe that the American people are beginning to second-guess this administration's policy; they are beginning to ask for an exit strategy. When, how, where? Are we getting out of there? We are still having problems with the constitution, there are still issues in there relative to women, and how theological it's going to be in terms of is it an Islamic constitution or Democratic constitution, or that separation issue. We have known for a while our troops have been stretched to the limits in terms of covering this mass country, dealing with the insurgents, with the suicidal nature of those insurgents. I want to believe the Congressman's assessment, I think it's important to believe that but I have serious doubts and I join with many Americans in saying to the president, to this Congress. First of all the Congress needs more oversight as to how that is going. Number two, it's not about waving the white flag and saying let's get out of here tomorrow, it's a critical assessment of how, we need to extract ourselves from this quagmire.

>> Michael Grant:
Do you think setting a date is a bad idea?

>>Raul Grijalva:
I think measurable points for an exit strategy are absolutely appropriate, I think that's what the American people are asking for.

>> Michael Grant:
When you say measurable points though, do you mean in terms of calendar days or for example, when the constitution has been passed? When elected representatives, the December elections have been held. Those kinds of points or actual days?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think those are important points. I really believe that there has to an 18 month calendar, 12-month calendar, where are we at and what is the end result of the process. I really believe we can't be there forever and can't make a commitment that's open ended. It's not only the loss of human life, it's not only the economic drain on this nation, it is a foreign policy, public policy initiative. If we would have done this correctly then, but we didn't, that's hindsight, I don't want to get into that we didn't find the weapons of mass destruction, where are we fighting the war on terrorism. I do believe that there is an urgency on the part of the American people that our president be straight with them as to where we're at. Give specifics.

>> Michael Grant:
Why, though, if you do that kind of thing, why doesn't that become a road map for the bad guys? If it's June 30 why not have havoc on July 1?

>>Raul Grijalva:
I think the road map is already in place. I am not convinced for us to leave this as an open-ended discussion without having that point in which to initiate and force the Iraqi government and its people to assume of, keeping it open ended doesn't solve the problem and not having an exit strategy doesn't solve the problem. I'll predict we'll start taking troops back before the next election. Is that the timetable, I don't know, but I think that's the political timetable.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's shift to something a little closer to home, particularly closer to your home and district, that's the immigration issue. Representative Russell Pearce has suggested a referendum for 2006 ballot whether we should build a wall on the border. What's your position?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think those kind of head in the sand to deal with the crisis at the border, with immigration, with unauthorized entries into the country, that's not the solution. I think it's great political red meat to throw to the voters but it does not solve the problems. I think Congress and this administration have a tremendous responsibility. Arizona is at the point of the spear at the whole debate on immigration. We're there. We have competing issues. Senator Kyl has a piece of legislation, senator McCain has a piece of legislation. Justified, this state is under the microscope. We should say as a consequence of sending the National Guard to the border, that is going to solve the crisis on the border? It's not. It's not a solution.

>> Michael Grant:
A lot of Arizonans, southwest earners are getting frustrated, want to ask you about the various legislation in just a minute. Let's stick with the wall concept. I think it's demonstrated it has been because of a security crackdown in California and Texas that we have become the funnel over the past three, four years, at least part of the solution in San Diego was construction of a wall. If it worked there, why won't it work here?

>> Raul Grijalva:
San Diego and the southern part of the California border is still recording record numbers of apprehensions of undocumented workers.

>> Michael Grant:
But at a slower rate than Arizona.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Texas is reporting the same thing. My point being that Enforcement and security along the border is part of a comprehensive solution, it is not the only solution. If we don't approach this question with some level of rational thought, with some level of fact and some level of reality, we're really not going to have a lasting solution. These are short-term gestures that maybe satisfy a political agenda but they don't satisfy the agenda of how we reform immigration and secure the border.

>> Michael Grant:
All right, let's get to some of the other solutions. The Arizona delegation has been involved in different pieces of legislation. The Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy bill, I'm going to vastly oversimplify it, one of the components is a guest worker program for a longer-term solution. What do you think about that?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I support McCain's legislation, I support Kolbe Flake. It is a three-legged stool that deals with guest worker program, border security enhancement and ability to maintain security on the border and deals with the reality of people in this country and state working already and what process do you use to deal with them. Not amnesty, but what process.

>> Michael Grant:
To a certain extent isn't it amnesty and didn't we have really a very unsuccessful experiment with amnesty in the mid '80s? Aren't you saying to people, we know you're here illegally, but you can stay?

>> Raul Grijalva:
We can't replicate what happened under Reagan in terms of amnesty, no, we can't. And it was unfair to a lot of degrees. People already in line waiting to be processed to legally enter fell behind the line. The McCain bill talks about everybody gets to the back of the line and we begin. The other reality, I just came from visiting parts of the desert in my district where up to this point, 229 people have died. And to a person, those people that they have rescued or detained, they're not coming here on a lark, they are coming here with guaranteed employment in North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, etc. So the process of a guest worker program is essential and also recognizing the reality that we have a work force in this country that we need to take out of the shadows, legalize and that will enhance our security and also enhance the fact that we now are dealing with a realistic approach to this issue.

>> Michael Grant:
one of the criticisms of the McCain-Kennedy legislation is that it doesn't focus enough on border security. Kyl's focuses on 10,000 more agents on the border. Can we blend those two?

>> Raul Grijalva
: I think the whole border security issue is going to be up for considerable debate and discussion. IF enhancements are necessary, we'll find them. Here is part of the fantasy line in Senator Kyl's legislation. It is to deal with the undocumented work force that we have in this country that is a consequence of border security he will then voluntarily ask 8 to 11 million people to cross back to their home country, in Latin America, get in line and wait and we'll call you back some day. That is not going to happen. And so if you're dealing with the issue of illegality, if you're dealing with the issue of security, creating a fantasy composition doesn't solve it.

>> Michael Grant:
We rarely get to talk to you, appreciate you coming up, as we say in the business, south of the Gila.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Thank you so much.

>> Michael Grant:
If you would like more information about "Horizon", go to our website at www.az.pbs.org. Once you get to our home page, click on the word "Horizon" to see transcripts or information about upcoming shows.

>>Michael Grant:
Thank you very much for being here on a Thursday edition of "Horizon". I'm Michael Grant have a great one. Good night.

Congressman Raul Grijalva


  • Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva of Tucson joins HORIZON host Michael Grant to talk about issues such as immigration and the war in Iraq.
Guests:
  • Republican Congressman John Shadegg -
  • Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva -


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon": Republican Congressman John Shadegg And Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva join us to talk about issues affecting the nation and Arizona, such as immigration. Plus, Representative Shadegg will talk about his recent trip to Iraq. That's next on "Horizon".

>> Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Michael Grant. Before we talk to two of our Arizona congressmen, here's the latest news. Citizens Clean Elections Commission voted unanimously today to uphold an administrative law judge's decision that State Representative David Burnell Smith vacate his office and pay fines for overspending his public campaign funds budget. Tuesday, Administrative Law Judge Daniel Martin had ruled that the commission was correct in March when it ordered Burnell Smith to vacate his office and pay fines for overspending his budget by 17\%. Clean Elections law requires that any officeholder overspending public campaign funds by more than 10\% should be removed from office. The commission also voted to uphold the judge's decision that he repay over $34,000 in campaign funds and pay a $10,000 fine. Burnell Smith has 30 days to petition the commission for a new hearing or to take the case to Maricopa County Superior Court. Tonight we have one-fourth of Arizona's Congressional Delegations in our studio. We will talk to Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva of Tucson in a few minutes. But joining us first is Republican Representative John Shadegg of Phoenix who will talk about various issues, including his trip this week to Iraq. And you were flown by a black hawk chopper manned by an Arizona crew.

>> John Shadegg:
Absolutely, one of the surprises of the trip. You spend the night outside the country, in our case we spent the night in Jordan. We through flew into Tekut one day, spent the day in northern Iraq, the second day we flew into Baghdad. It's a C130. You land and immediately move from that plane to black hawk. They take you to the green zone by helicopter. We walked over and got on the helicopters, you're juggling all this stuff, carrying a camera and materials to write on, wearing body armor. The crew signalled to take my helmet off and put on headsets. About that second, they shoved an Arizona flag in my face. They said sign it. It turned out the crew of my black hawk was from Arizona, and the crew of the second black hawk was also from Arizona, Papago. They had big Arizona flags on them, I signed an Arizona flag for them, and they gave me an Arizona flag they had signed. It was kind of fun. There are a number of them on here. There was a Lieutenant Tim Woods he was the Captain,. Warrant Officer Pat Conan and Tommy Morales were the crew on my helicopter. This includes the signatures of some of the others. So it's kind of fun and they're all from 189th. The coyotes, spelled K-Y-O-T-E-S, Arizona Air National Guard. So they're all out of Papago, we have all driven by that facility. Kind of fun, halfway around the world and you run into a crew of Arizonans.

>> Michael Grant:
You signed it, thanks for keeping us safe, which we echo. The Sheehan protest in Texas has been front and center for the past few weeks. How much of that news and information do they get there and how do they react?

>> John Shadegg:
They are on line, live time. Every room you walk into, they've got American television, with CNN or some other station playing, and have access. Some of them, my first day, I went in with a patrol leader, a Senior Non Com Sargeant, who was a great guy to interview, he was high enough in the ranks that he commanded a number of troops but not one of the officers that would be briefing me and kind of with a spin. It was an accident that I ran into this guy. He told me interesting things about how things are going. Those are the guys you search out. You get briefings from the officers, the generals, you know, they've got a job to sell and part of their selling is what's going on there. You don't want to ask the privates because they don't have anything to judge it against. Finally, a senior non-com. I'm chatting with him. He had lived in a metal shipping container, 8 feet by 8 feet. He had his own television, coffee pot, life couldn't be better. They see news all the time.

>> Michael Grant:
What's their reaction, for example? Obviously you can't characterize the entire group but what kind of feedback? If any?

>> John Shadegg:
I think generally, they get angered by it. They think the coverage is much more negative than what they encounter each day. In part, they are angered by the coverage because they see that the insurgency characterizes its action to influence not in an Arab world or in an Iraqi public, but in, towards American public. For example, there was a demonstration the day before I went there, which said no federalism. And yet, while nobody there speaks English, the signs and protest were printed "No Federalism" in English. The insurgents and foreign fighters in the country fighting against the Americans are very much geared toward influencing American media. When our soldiers see that having an impact and the American press picking it up, or just the western press, the press in England, anywhere else, it kind of makes them mad because they're publicizing the bad side, things that don't look so well, and not publicizing what they're doing. Kind of like giving the other team good coverage.

>> Michael Grant: What's your read on where their constitution is at this point?

>> John Shadegg:
Very very tough, the Shia and the Kurds are on board, the Sunnis boycotted the election. They're really entitled to be at the conventions in any significant numbers, and so they're negotiating from kind of a behind position. On top of that, the Sunnis were the repressive regime under Saadam, and so they're feeling they're being left out. That's the challenge, is to put enough compromise into that document so that the Sunnis get on board, then you'll have all three major ethnic divisions on board.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously, a part of politics is the fine art of compromise. I wonder how fine this art is, I'm not a student of their constitution but I have seen excerpts and for example, there's one provision of the constitution that basically says no law shall be passed against religious law. There also is another provision that says no law shall be passed violating individual liberties or words to that effect. It almost seems like you're not really compromising here, you're just delaying the train wreck.

>> John Shadegg:
Two things about that. One, the call, the current temporarily law they have in place, administrative temporary law, where you have a statement that says one and another is the antithesis of the other. They're mutually contradictory but at least they each got them in. Now we're in the process in the constitution trying to sort that out. One of the hot things is whether Islamic will rule over everything else. The Kurds don't want that. The biggest fights have to do with who has power, that's kind of critical and another fight that people in America don't realize is the fight over the oil. The Sunni are the powerful minority that used to in be power. The ShiA are the majority. The Kurds are yet another minority. The oil is largely on lands owned by Kurds and ShiA. If the Kurds and Shia would align, the Sunni would be way short of oil, in deep financial trouble. This is negotiation over resources, which means negotiation over vast amounts of money.

>> Michael Grant:
What's your best call? Will there be a constitution to be voted on this fall?

>> John Shadegg:
I think there will be a constitution to be voted on this fall. I hope and pray that the Sunni have enough buy-in that they ratify it. If that happens, then I have no doubt that the elections in December, where they select representatives, will be a huge success. One of the common sentiments there is the rank and file Sunni populous recognize boycotting the last election was a serious mistake. It's part of the reason they're under represented and have to beg to be in these negotiations. If they can come up with something approaching a fair compromise, it will be ratified. And I think a huge turnout at the elections in December and we'll in place the cornerstone of what America wants, which is a government that by and large reflects the people of Iraq and not a repressive dictatorship.

>> Michael Grant:
Obviously, a lot of Americans are saying, all right, when are we going to get out. A lot of politicians suggesting let's establish a timetable. What do you think?

>> John Shadegg:
I think that's a disaster if you mean a date on a calendar. The insurgents and foreign fighters that are there don't know, okay, time out we don't have to do much between now and that date because on that date America walks and we can create all kind of chaos. I think there is in place now a timetable and that is ratification of this constitution and then the election that occurs in December. And what's happening is we are standing a huge number of forces, Iraqi Army that are taking the load. One of the most fascinating things was what I heard from the Idaho National Guard Sergeant, platoon sergeant going in which was later ratified by the briefings I got, once I asked him, what's your role with the Iraqi forces and what's your opinion? Are they as bad as the American media portrays? He said, I got here in January. I spent part of January, February and March training Iraqi troops. They are dramatically better than portrayed in the American media, better than they used to be. I can give them independent assignments and engage them and they will do that. They have 11 check points around the city, they go and man those, I don't have any of my guys doing that. This is a guy whose platoon has two or three duties while there. One is clearing roads. Second is escorting our convoys and third is training Iraqi troops. He said one it is true when I go on joint operation, I think they fight more aggressively when I'm standing shoulder to shoulder but he said they are reliable, I can fight side by side and assign them to fight independently.

>> Michael Grant:
Arizona Congressman, John Shadegg. Appreciate you joining us, particularly once you got back. Why don't you go get some sleep?

>>John Shadegg:
Sounds like a good idea.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me to talk about issues affecting Arizona and the country, including immigration, is Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva. Former chair of the Pima County board of supervisors. Is Pima County still there after the storms?

>> Raul Grijalva:
It's still there and didn't take the battering that some people anticipated. Water is good and for that we are grateful.

>> Michael Grant:
Just don't need it all at once.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Not in a period of 8 hours. That's a little too much

>> Michael Grant:
Let's stick with Iraq, Congressman Shadegg thinks things are improving, he relayed a story about the non con saying that the Iraqi troops are better trained than the media portrays them. Are we making progress in Iraq or not?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think that question is still up in the air, I really do. I really believe that the American people are beginning to second-guess this administration's policy; they are beginning to ask for an exit strategy. When, how, where? Are we getting out of there? We are still having problems with the constitution, there are still issues in there relative to women, and how theological it's going to be in terms of is it an Islamic constitution or Democratic constitution, or that separation issue. We have known for a while our troops have been stretched to the limits in terms of covering this mass country, dealing with the insurgents, with the suicidal nature of those insurgents. I want to believe the Congressman's assessment, I think it's important to believe that but I have serious doubts and I join with many Americans in saying to the president, to this Congress. First of all the Congress needs more oversight as to how that is going. Number two, it's not about waving the white flag and saying let's get out of here tomorrow, it's a critical assessment of how, we need to extract ourselves from this quagmire.

>> Michael Grant:
Do you think setting a date is a bad idea?

>>Raul Grijalva:
I think measurable points for an exit strategy are absolutely appropriate, I think that's what the American people are asking for.

>> Michael Grant:
When you say measurable points though, do you mean in terms of calendar days or for example, when the constitution has been passed? When elected representatives, the December elections have been held. Those kinds of points or actual days?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think those are important points. I really believe that there has to an 18 month calendar, 12-month calendar, where are we at and what is the end result of the process. I really believe we can't be there forever and can't make a commitment that's open ended. It's not only the loss of human life, it's not only the economic drain on this nation, it is a foreign policy, public policy initiative. If we would have done this correctly then, but we didn't, that's hindsight, I don't want to get into that we didn't find the weapons of mass destruction, where are we fighting the war on terrorism. I do believe that there is an urgency on the part of the American people that our president be straight with them as to where we're at. Give specifics.

>> Michael Grant:
Why, though, if you do that kind of thing, why doesn't that become a road map for the bad guys? If it's June 30 why not have havoc on July 1?

>>Raul Grijalva:
I think the road map is already in place. I am not convinced for us to leave this as an open-ended discussion without having that point in which to initiate and force the Iraqi government and its people to assume of, keeping it open ended doesn't solve the problem and not having an exit strategy doesn't solve the problem. I'll predict we'll start taking troops back before the next election. Is that the timetable, I don't know, but I think that's the political timetable.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's shift to something a little closer to home, particularly closer to your home and district, that's the immigration issue. Representative Russell Pearce has suggested a referendum for 2006 ballot whether we should build a wall on the border. What's your position?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I think those kind of head in the sand to deal with the crisis at the border, with immigration, with unauthorized entries into the country, that's not the solution. I think it's great political red meat to throw to the voters but it does not solve the problems. I think Congress and this administration have a tremendous responsibility. Arizona is at the point of the spear at the whole debate on immigration. We're there. We have competing issues. Senator Kyl has a piece of legislation, senator McCain has a piece of legislation. Justified, this state is under the microscope. We should say as a consequence of sending the National Guard to the border, that is going to solve the crisis on the border? It's not. It's not a solution.

>> Michael Grant:
A lot of Arizonans, southwest earners are getting frustrated, want to ask you about the various legislation in just a minute. Let's stick with the wall concept. I think it's demonstrated it has been because of a security crackdown in California and Texas that we have become the funnel over the past three, four years, at least part of the solution in San Diego was construction of a wall. If it worked there, why won't it work here?

>> Raul Grijalva:
San Diego and the southern part of the California border is still recording record numbers of apprehensions of undocumented workers.

>> Michael Grant:
But at a slower rate than Arizona.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Texas is reporting the same thing. My point being that Enforcement and security along the border is part of a comprehensive solution, it is not the only solution. If we don't approach this question with some level of rational thought, with some level of fact and some level of reality, we're really not going to have a lasting solution. These are short-term gestures that maybe satisfy a political agenda but they don't satisfy the agenda of how we reform immigration and secure the border.

>> Michael Grant:
All right, let's get to some of the other solutions. The Arizona delegation has been involved in different pieces of legislation. The Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy bill, I'm going to vastly oversimplify it, one of the components is a guest worker program for a longer-term solution. What do you think about that?

>> Raul Grijalva:
I support McCain's legislation, I support Kolbe Flake. It is a three-legged stool that deals with guest worker program, border security enhancement and ability to maintain security on the border and deals with the reality of people in this country and state working already and what process do you use to deal with them. Not amnesty, but what process.

>> Michael Grant:
To a certain extent isn't it amnesty and didn't we have really a very unsuccessful experiment with amnesty in the mid '80s? Aren't you saying to people, we know you're here illegally, but you can stay?

>> Raul Grijalva:
We can't replicate what happened under Reagan in terms of amnesty, no, we can't. And it was unfair to a lot of degrees. People already in line waiting to be processed to legally enter fell behind the line. The McCain bill talks about everybody gets to the back of the line and we begin. The other reality, I just came from visiting parts of the desert in my district where up to this point, 229 people have died. And to a person, those people that they have rescued or detained, they're not coming here on a lark, they are coming here with guaranteed employment in North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, etc. So the process of a guest worker program is essential and also recognizing the reality that we have a work force in this country that we need to take out of the shadows, legalize and that will enhance our security and also enhance the fact that we now are dealing with a realistic approach to this issue.

>> Michael Grant:
one of the criticisms of the McCain-Kennedy legislation is that it doesn't focus enough on border security. Kyl's focuses on 10,000 more agents on the border. Can we blend those two?

>> Raul Grijalva
: I think the whole border security issue is going to be up for considerable debate and discussion. IF enhancements are necessary, we'll find them. Here is part of the fantasy line in Senator Kyl's legislation. It is to deal with the undocumented work force that we have in this country that is a consequence of border security he will then voluntarily ask 8 to 11 million people to cross back to their home country, in Latin America, get in line and wait and we'll call you back some day. That is not going to happen. And so if you're dealing with the issue of illegality, if you're dealing with the issue of security, creating a fantasy composition doesn't solve it.

>> Michael Grant:
We rarely get to talk to you, appreciate you coming up, as we say in the business, south of the Gila.

>> Raul Grijalva:
Thank you so much.

>> Michael Grant:
If you would like more information about "Horizon", go to our website at www.az.pbs.org. Once you get to our home page, click on the word "Horizon" to see transcripts or information about upcoming shows.

>>Michael Grant:
Thank you very much for being here on a Thursday edition of "Horizon". I'm Michael Grant have a great one. Good night.

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