Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 3, 2006


Host: Michael Grant

Bill Bradley


  • Join HORIZON for a conversation with the former New Jersey Senator.
Guests:
  • State senator Barbara Leff -
  • State representative David Lujan -


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon, marchers took to the streets to protest a national proposal that would make illegal immigrants felons. Some in the state legislature want the same law. And a conversation with former senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley on the pitfalls of politics and the need for healthcare reform.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by the contributions of the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station.

Michael Grant:
Good evening and thanks for joining us on Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. The U.S. house of representatives has passed a bill that would make it a felony to be in the country illegally. The bill has resulted in massive protests all across the country. The Arizona house and senate have also passed a bill making it a felony to be here illegally. The measure is headed back to the senate for consideration of changes made by the house. The bill, sponsored by senator Barbara Leff, would also allow police to question a person's immigration status when making an arrest. Here to discuss the bill is senator Leff and representative David Lujan, who is opposed to the bill.

Michael Grant:
Senator Leff, have I sort of generally accurately described the bill? It would make being an illegal alien a class 6 or class 4 or perhaps class 2 felony if another crime is involved. Correct?

Barbara Leff:
Correct. Actually this bill makes it a state crime to break the federal law being in this country illegally. For the longest time we kept hearing from the police or law enforcement agencies they did not feel they could enforce federal immigration law. So the goal of this bill is to make this a state crime and then the police can enforce the state law. The state law would be a class 6 felony. To be in this country, to enter this country or be in this country illegally. But the law enforcement authorities would have a choice when arresting somebody. They won't necessarily have to charge them with a felony. They could, under this provision, they could refer them to the federal agency that is in charge. So they could refer them to ice or refer them or take them to border security if the person was captured crossing the border.

Michael Grant:
What drew your attention to this area?

Barbara Leff:
Actually the original bill of the goal of this bill, I should say, really was to deal with the issue on the border. I am tremendously concerned about who's coming over the border. I don't think that people coming over the border through the desert right now are necessarily people just coming to get a job. They may be coming with the coyotes bringing them over. My concern is all the people across that border we cannot detect because we don't have resources down in those 4 Arizona counties that they're coming over with drugs, with the chemicals to make methamphetamine, with weapons, as members of gangs or perhaps coming over that border bringing along with them materials to be used in a terrorist plot.

Michael Grant:
Representative Lujan, you do not support the bill. Let me give you a hypothetical. If this passes -- the conference committee that's to be put together between the senate and house moves to the governor's office, you're in the governor's office encouraging her to veto the bill. What would you say to her why she should not sign this bill into law?

David Lujan:
I think there are three major reasons why the bill should be vetoed. Number one it's unconstitutional. I don't think it would withstand legal challenge because the Supreme Court has said that in the areas of immigration law that the United States federal government occupies the field. And there's no room for the state to be getting into that area. I think it's unconstitutional number one.

Michael Grant:
Don't mean to interrupt. But was there a situation I believe involving a New England state where actually some court ruled on that point?

David Lujan:
Right. In New Hampshire the very similar situation to what this bill would create. They tried to charge some people that were in the country that were not citizens with trespassing as a state trespassing law in a court in New Hampshire rejected that saying that it was under the federal supremacy clause, the law was unconstitutional.

David Lujan:
Number two it doesn't do anything to solve the immigration issues. And number three, it would make literally thousands of people in this state felons including thousands of children who never were asked whether or not they should come to this country illegally or not. We have thousands of kids in our school system today that came to Arizona when they were two, three years of age. Their parents never asked them whether they wanted to come to this country illegally. They've been in our school system. They're getting an education. Playing by the rules. Many of them are very intelligent, bright students. This bill will make them felons.

Michael Grant:
I don't think anybody argues with the opportunity but it's how you acquire the opportunity. There are fair ways to acquire opportunities and perhaps unfair and illegal ways to acquire opportunities.

David Lujan:
But in the case of the children who are here, nobody ever asked them it. Was just by fate that their parents made that decision. But the children that were here, they were never asked whether they wanted to come to this country legally or not. And so I think for them, they see this as being denied a future.

Michael Grant:
Senator Leff, let me return to point number two and then respond to any of those two points that you want to. The logistics of this are daunting. The estimates you know are perhaps upwards of half a million illegal aliens in the state. There are some law enforcement officers who say, listen, our prime assignment is catching bad guys. And while we may have different views on illegal immigration, this really pulls us away from our prime assignment which is to enforce true local law. What do you say to that?

Barbara Leff:
Well, I think people that say that are just pretending that we don't have a problem in this community. Number one, we are a nation of laws. And I think it's extraordinarily important if we are a nation of laws that we don't decide somehow which laws we're going to enforce and not going to enforce that we just have a wink and a nod on violations of immigration law but we expect the community that they need to obey other laws.

Michael Grant:
But at what level I guess do you enforce various laws? That's another point being made.

Barbara Leff:
Correct. Which is exactly where I was going to go next. It's up to the police when they want to arrest somebody. Up to the police what they want to do. This bill had a companion bill that put $75 million over a 5-year period into the border counties in southern Arizona. So the enforcement piece would follow the money. The goal was to put that money in the four Arizona border counties to catch those people coming over the border now. That's where the money would be. That's where we would give all the added resources to actually do something about this. Our concern is the people coming over the border with more in mind than just getting a job. And so I think most of the interest, most of the -- most of the attention from the police would be in those 4 Arizona border counties. Cochise county is having tremendous problems. There are shootouts. They are asking, begging for help. They don't at this point have the authority to stop somebody, arrest them, detain them. And they're asking us to help them.

Michael Grant:
Representative Lujan, let me ask you to lay your constitutional point to one side for a moment and just go with the merits of this. Won't this help with this situation we have seen all too frequently, the so-called catch and release phenomena where you have Mesa police catching a van load of illegal aliens, calling ice and saying, hey, can you come pick these people up. And finally after awhile they have to turn them loose?

David Lujan:
Well, I don't think it's going to help. Because again it goes back to federal law. And what this is going to do, law enforcement does not want this bill. It's going to create significant problems for law enforcement in this state. Because, maybe at one point there was an appropriation attached to this bill but there isn't anymore. And there's going to be significant costs. We don't have enough prison space to hold prisoners now. And the number of prison beds that we would need would triple under this bill. So it would create havoc for our law enforcement system and it won't do anything to address the issue of illegal immigration.

Michael Grant:
If I understand senator Leff's point correctly, though, she's seeing this as a vehicle bill. She's seeing it as give a tool to local law enforcement. At least in part. She can speak for herself. But give local law enforcement a tool they don't currently have to get these people in the hands of federal authorities.

David Lujan:
Well, the bill says that they may arrest, but we have a situation in Maricopa county where we have a human trafficking bill that was passed by our legislature last year and we have a county attorney and county sheriff that have chosen to interpret that in ways that the bill sponsor from that bill last year said was never intended. And we are seeing every week where they're arrested undocumented people and attempting to incarcerate them. So I'm concerned with this bill that with the current county attorney and county sheriff that we have that we could be seeing -- there's not going to be that discretion. Like I said, this bill will make felons out of thousands of students who only want to get an education.

Michael Grant:
It is an interesting point. It puts a lot of discretion in local prosecutors and local law enforcement. And I think many of them try to do the honorable -- I think most of them try to do the honorable thing but sometimes that's not always the product.

Barbara Leff:
Well, it's not true that law enforcement -- all law enforcement does not want this bill. Law enforcement in the border counties in Cochise county desperately wants this bill. They have a huge problem. They can not cope with what's coming across the border. They just don't know what to do. I believe that there would be discretion. This is an open classes felony which means it could also be a class one misdemeanor. I believe that for people who are being picked up and simply are here -- I shouldn't say simply -- who are here not causing other crimes or creating other problems they would be, according to this bill, they could be transferred to the federal agency, whether it be ice or the border patrol. It only becomes a serious felony if they are engaged in these other activities.

Michael Grant:
Would you have a problem with the bill if it focused only on that issue? If it said, listen. You're committing some other serious offense. What we're going to use this as is an aggravating factor simply to jack up what otherwise might be a low class felony to a higher class felony? Would that still be a problem?

David Lujan: Well, sure. I think if people are coming into this country illegally and committing some other crime then if it's an aggravating factor then I think that may be something you could consider. But this bill doesn't do that. It's a blanket. If you're in this country illegally you are a felon. And when the word "illegally" is used in the context of immigration, I think you need to put a big asterisk next to it and at the bottom say, oh, by the way, we have employers in the United States that are hiring undocumented and they're basically looking the other way. So we are basically enticing the undocumented people to come to this country. And oh, by the way, American consumers like the fact that because of our undocumented work force we can have lower-priced homes, our goods and services that are produced because of that work force are low price. And do Americans really want to pay higher costs if we didn't have that work force.

Michael Grant:
Almost out of time. Last word. Are we schizo on the issue?

Barbara Leff:
I think if we are a nation of laws and we always have been, then we need to say, all laws would be enforced. I think this idea that some laws can be enforced and some laws can't be enforced is just a really bad message. How do you decide which laws going to enforce? I think until the federal government makes some provisions for guest workers or some other provision for workers that it is up to us to say, the law is the law. You must enforce the law equally.

Michael Grant:
Senator Barbara Leff, thank you very much for joining us. Representative David Lujan, good to see you.

Michael Grant:
Former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley has always supported making healthcare affordable for all Americans. He was in town to speak at the healthcare symposium sponsored by the W.P. Carey School of Business. Larry Lemmons talked with Bill Bradley at the Biltmore about his time in the senate, his presidential run in 2000 and healthcare.

Larry Lemmons: Let's talk about the Senate. How would you compare it today with the way it was during your tenure?

Bill Bradley:
My impression was the senate has changed. It began to change toward the end of my career in the senate. When I came to the senate was a very collegial institution. There were frequent bipartisan majorities, frequent issues on the finance committee on healthcare, for example, that you would have republicans and democrats joining together on one side and republicans and democrats joining together on the other side. And now it's much more party line. It's much meaner. Money plays a much bigger role. And it's unfortunate. Because that means the extremes of both parties determine the agenda. And that means most of the things that people care about in this country, health, education, pensions, jobs, don't really get addressed because the extremes are more interested in their issues, whether it's abortion, gay rights, guns, whatever, right? Because that activates their base. And I think that that's unfortunate. I think the senate has changed in that way.

Larry Lemmons:
To what do you attribute the change?

Bill Bradley:
I think it's attributable to a number of things. One is the amount of money that's in politics today. And the people have to constantly raise money and therefore they become not beholden but at least they give an audience to people that before wouldn't have really heard, you won't-- you really wouldn't have heard people. I think there's a kind of-- where the politician is really not as skilled as he or she should be. And the only thing they can do is party line. And if you want to know what I really attribute this polarization to is to the way we do our congressional redistricting in this country. Out of 435 congressmen, there are about 50 seats that are not safe seats. And when you are in a district that is 60/40, republican or democrat, you don't care what the other side says. You're worried about a primary challenge which means you have to be the most extreme position possible to please the major players in a primary race. If you're in a 52/48 district, you have to figure out what does the other side, republican or democrat really want, and how do I build something that I get re-elected because I convey myself as a moderate. And because of the redistricting, most of the people don't care if they're viewed as extremists because they know they're not going to get a primary challenge if they're extremist. They'll be there. Of course they made their commitments to get the nomination. The general election in everything but 50 seats in this country is an afterthought. I think that plus money and the need to raise money constantly from more and more special interests in this country contributed to the polarization of our political process that is not serving the vast majority of Americans. How many times have you heard people say in this country in the last several years, why don't they quit yelling at each other and get something done for me, you know. And people are right.

Larry Lemmons:
Well, you talk about the polarization of the political parties and all the money involved and the lobbyists that are involved in that as well. You had always been a champion of the working people. How do you bring the focus of the political process back on to the people?

Bill Bradley:
Well, I think that you have to realize there's power in numbers. And people have to believe again that they can achieve their objectives through the political process. I mean, in 1996 and in 2000, Clinton's re-election, Bush's first election less than 50\% of the people voted. The majority of the people who didn't vote were young, poor and minority. And if you don't vote, then naturally you're not going to get policies that are going to you because politicians don't pay attention to people who don't vote. They only pay attention to people who vote since the people who vote are upper-level income, relatively, to those who don't vote, then the concerns of the vast majority of the people in this country don't get the attention that they should otherwise get. So the thing you can do is vote, right? Second thing you can do is make sure that you have your voice heard. And take responsibility for some of the things in your own life, whether it's your lifestyle, healthier lifestyle reduces healthcare costs for everybody, whether it's your pension -- saving a little money each week will help -- whether it's the problem of our ridiculous consumption of oil in this country. Making some basic choices about the car you drive, your hot water plan in your home, et cetera, you can be a part of the solution as opposed to a part of the problem.

Larry Lemmons:
I'd like to talk about your presidential run, looking back.

Bill Bradley:
Oh, yes. I remember that.

Larry Lemmons:
What did you take away from that?

Bill Bradley:
Well, the first thing I took away was the remarkable quality of the American people and the trust that they bestow on one who is running for president of the united states even if you were at my level, which I didn't get the nomination. But you saw in people's eyes their hopes, dreams, their fears and their trust that you could help solve the problem. The second thing that the American people are basically good. There's tremendous goodness in the American people, toward individual acts toward each other in our communities, for example. And generally the American people do the right thing if their leaders will tell them what the facts are, tell them the truth. And I took away from that that more politicians have to speak from their core convictions. I used to have a line in my stump speech that I must have given 10,000 times where I say, the premise of my campaign is you can tell people exactly what you believe and win. Well, I don't know if that's true. Maybe it was me. I think it was me. I think it is true. I think it was just not the best messenger for that. I think people who run for president should speak from their core convictions, not be afraid to tell the truth. Tell the country exactly what they think. You find some politicians who style themselves in that manner but then on tough issues, they dodge. And the American people respond to truth intelligence, strength, and compassion. I think somebody who runs for president that wants to win has to have that.

Larry Lemmons:
How do you feel about the conservative's relative victory in making "liberalism" a dirty word?

Bill Bradley:
Well, it's unfortunate for everybody. I mean, liberalism is not a dirty word. I mean, you know, we're founded out of the enlightenment. Our founders were liberals in the sense of believing in the perfect ability of man, not perfectibility but believing in the progress that we can have, right? I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that you think a country should have a best education system in the world, that workers who work 30 years shouldn't lose their pensions, that everybody in the country ought to have access to healthcare. I mean, we can tell truth to people. But look, you're not going to have the same job for 50 years. And your ability to get a better job is going to depend on your desire and discipline to get continuing education. Tell them the truth. But don't tell them that the problem is those people in the country who don't have as much as you do. The whole story of America is everybody can be rich, right? The whole story of America is there's upward mobility. And once people who are in the lower 50\% of the population don't feel they're going to get in the upper 50\%, then we have more serious problems than imaginable. I think it's an American idea, not liberal or conservative idea. I think it's an American idea that we should have upward mobility in this country. The difference between democrats and republicans is, republicans believe, you know, you do it all on your own. Good luck. save money for your healthcare. Save money for your pension. Democrats say, you know, there are times when people are going to hit some tough times. Times where you need a little help. And we're going to help you realize your potential in terms of your health, education, pension. And it seems to me that, you know, I believe that's the superior vision.

Larry Lemmons:
You're at the Biltmore to talk tonight the W.P. Carey School of business about healthcare. What do you think are some of the most pressing issues in terms of healthcare today?

Bill Bradley:
Two pressing issues. One is cost. Costs have gone up in double digits for the last six years. Per capita we spend six times more on healthcare than Germany and 10 times more than Canada. So I think cost is a major issue. And I think the fact that there are 45 million people in America who don't have any health insurance, for a country as rich as we are I think access has got to be a key guarantee in this country. And I don't think that we can hold our head high as long as 45 million people don't have health insurance. We end up ranking 17th in infant mortality in the world and 195,000 people die because of medical errors in hospitals. So I think that we have a lot of work to do to make our healthcare system the best. We have the best healthcare in the world. People come from all over the world because of the technology that we have. But we don't have the best healthcare system. If we're going to have the best healthcare system we have to insure everybody, we have to reduce the costs and have to have some big societal markers such as reducing infant mortality, obesity, diabetes.

Larry Lemmons:
Is there something specific that could be done to alleviate those problems?

Bill Bradley:
Yes. I mean, I think that the fact that there are 195,000 people dying in hospitals today is because of simple errors. Only 1\% of the prescription drug mistakes are caught, for example. And that means that you have to put incentives in hospitals and doctor's offices to report mistakes. And the more you report mistakes, the more you get an understanding of where there are problems in the system the more you can change the system. That also applies to the administrative part of healthcare where $295 billion is spent on administration in this country. So I think that reducing costs in those areas will give us money to be able to cover some of the uninsured.

Larry Lemmons:
Thank you, Senator Bradley for speaking with us today at the Biltmore.

Bill Bradley:
Thank you. My pleasure.

Merry Lucero:
New car buyers in Arizona can either purchase their car through an auto dealership sales office or go through a car broker who will negotiate the deal for them. A bill working its way through the state's legislature would change how that choice works for new car consumers. We'll have details Tuesday at 7 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at the issue of merit selection versus election for judges. Thursday governor Janet Napolitano will be here for the monthly conversation. Friday please be here for the journalists roundtable wrap up of the week's news events. Thank you very much for being here on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night. [music]

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Immigration Bill


  • A bill has been approved by both the Arizona House and Senate that would make being an illegal immigrant a felony in Arizona. A similar federal bill has sparked massive protests across the country. The bill would also allow law enforcement to ask about immigration status and national origin when making arrests. Sponsors Senator Barbara Leff and Representative David Lujan will discuss the bill.
Guests:
  • State senator Barbara Leff -
  • State representative David Lujan -


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on Horizon, marchers took to the streets to protest a national proposal that would make illegal immigrants felons. Some in the state legislature want the same law. And a conversation with former senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley on the pitfalls of politics and the need for healthcare reform.

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by the contributions of the friends of eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station.

Michael Grant:
Good evening and thanks for joining us on Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. The U.S. house of representatives has passed a bill that would make it a felony to be in the country illegally. The bill has resulted in massive protests all across the country. The Arizona house and senate have also passed a bill making it a felony to be here illegally. The measure is headed back to the senate for consideration of changes made by the house. The bill, sponsored by senator Barbara Leff, would also allow police to question a person's immigration status when making an arrest. Here to discuss the bill is senator Leff and representative David Lujan, who is opposed to the bill.

Michael Grant:
Senator Leff, have I sort of generally accurately described the bill? It would make being an illegal alien a class 6 or class 4 or perhaps class 2 felony if another crime is involved. Correct?

Barbara Leff:
Correct. Actually this bill makes it a state crime to break the federal law being in this country illegally. For the longest time we kept hearing from the police or law enforcement agencies they did not feel they could enforce federal immigration law. So the goal of this bill is to make this a state crime and then the police can enforce the state law. The state law would be a class 6 felony. To be in this country, to enter this country or be in this country illegally. But the law enforcement authorities would have a choice when arresting somebody. They won't necessarily have to charge them with a felony. They could, under this provision, they could refer them to the federal agency that is in charge. So they could refer them to ice or refer them or take them to border security if the person was captured crossing the border.

Michael Grant:
What drew your attention to this area?

Barbara Leff:
Actually the original bill of the goal of this bill, I should say, really was to deal with the issue on the border. I am tremendously concerned about who's coming over the border. I don't think that people coming over the border through the desert right now are necessarily people just coming to get a job. They may be coming with the coyotes bringing them over. My concern is all the people across that border we cannot detect because we don't have resources down in those 4 Arizona counties that they're coming over with drugs, with the chemicals to make methamphetamine, with weapons, as members of gangs or perhaps coming over that border bringing along with them materials to be used in a terrorist plot.

Michael Grant:
Representative Lujan, you do not support the bill. Let me give you a hypothetical. If this passes -- the conference committee that's to be put together between the senate and house moves to the governor's office, you're in the governor's office encouraging her to veto the bill. What would you say to her why she should not sign this bill into law?

David Lujan:
I think there are three major reasons why the bill should be vetoed. Number one it's unconstitutional. I don't think it would withstand legal challenge because the Supreme Court has said that in the areas of immigration law that the United States federal government occupies the field. And there's no room for the state to be getting into that area. I think it's unconstitutional number one.

Michael Grant:
Don't mean to interrupt. But was there a situation I believe involving a New England state where actually some court ruled on that point?

David Lujan:
Right. In New Hampshire the very similar situation to what this bill would create. They tried to charge some people that were in the country that were not citizens with trespassing as a state trespassing law in a court in New Hampshire rejected that saying that it was under the federal supremacy clause, the law was unconstitutional.

David Lujan:
Number two it doesn't do anything to solve the immigration issues. And number three, it would make literally thousands of people in this state felons including thousands of children who never were asked whether or not they should come to this country illegally or not. We have thousands of kids in our school system today that came to Arizona when they were two, three years of age. Their parents never asked them whether they wanted to come to this country illegally. They've been in our school system. They're getting an education. Playing by the rules. Many of them are very intelligent, bright students. This bill will make them felons.

Michael Grant:
I don't think anybody argues with the opportunity but it's how you acquire the opportunity. There are fair ways to acquire opportunities and perhaps unfair and illegal ways to acquire opportunities.

David Lujan:
But in the case of the children who are here, nobody ever asked them it. Was just by fate that their parents made that decision. But the children that were here, they were never asked whether they wanted to come to this country legally or not. And so I think for them, they see this as being denied a future.

Michael Grant:
Senator Leff, let me return to point number two and then respond to any of those two points that you want to. The logistics of this are daunting. The estimates you know are perhaps upwards of half a million illegal aliens in the state. There are some law enforcement officers who say, listen, our prime assignment is catching bad guys. And while we may have different views on illegal immigration, this really pulls us away from our prime assignment which is to enforce true local law. What do you say to that?

Barbara Leff:
Well, I think people that say that are just pretending that we don't have a problem in this community. Number one, we are a nation of laws. And I think it's extraordinarily important if we are a nation of laws that we don't decide somehow which laws we're going to enforce and not going to enforce that we just have a wink and a nod on violations of immigration law but we expect the community that they need to obey other laws.

Michael Grant:
But at what level I guess do you enforce various laws? That's another point being made.

Barbara Leff:
Correct. Which is exactly where I was going to go next. It's up to the police when they want to arrest somebody. Up to the police what they want to do. This bill had a companion bill that put $75 million over a 5-year period into the border counties in southern Arizona. So the enforcement piece would follow the money. The goal was to put that money in the four Arizona border counties to catch those people coming over the border now. That's where the money would be. That's where we would give all the added resources to actually do something about this. Our concern is the people coming over the border with more in mind than just getting a job. And so I think most of the interest, most of the -- most of the attention from the police would be in those 4 Arizona border counties. Cochise county is having tremendous problems. There are shootouts. They are asking, begging for help. They don't at this point have the authority to stop somebody, arrest them, detain them. And they're asking us to help them.

Michael Grant:
Representative Lujan, let me ask you to lay your constitutional point to one side for a moment and just go with the merits of this. Won't this help with this situation we have seen all too frequently, the so-called catch and release phenomena where you have Mesa police catching a van load of illegal aliens, calling ice and saying, hey, can you come pick these people up. And finally after awhile they have to turn them loose?

David Lujan:
Well, I don't think it's going to help. Because again it goes back to federal law. And what this is going to do, law enforcement does not want this bill. It's going to create significant problems for law enforcement in this state. Because, maybe at one point there was an appropriation attached to this bill but there isn't anymore. And there's going to be significant costs. We don't have enough prison space to hold prisoners now. And the number of prison beds that we would need would triple under this bill. So it would create havoc for our law enforcement system and it won't do anything to address the issue of illegal immigration.

Michael Grant:
If I understand senator Leff's point correctly, though, she's seeing this as a vehicle bill. She's seeing it as give a tool to local law enforcement. At least in part. She can speak for herself. But give local law enforcement a tool they don't currently have to get these people in the hands of federal authorities.

David Lujan:
Well, the bill says that they may arrest, but we have a situation in Maricopa county where we have a human trafficking bill that was passed by our legislature last year and we have a county attorney and county sheriff that have chosen to interpret that in ways that the bill sponsor from that bill last year said was never intended. And we are seeing every week where they're arrested undocumented people and attempting to incarcerate them. So I'm concerned with this bill that with the current county attorney and county sheriff that we have that we could be seeing -- there's not going to be that discretion. Like I said, this bill will make felons out of thousands of students who only want to get an education.

Michael Grant:
It is an interesting point. It puts a lot of discretion in local prosecutors and local law enforcement. And I think many of them try to do the honorable -- I think most of them try to do the honorable thing but sometimes that's not always the product.

Barbara Leff:
Well, it's not true that law enforcement -- all law enforcement does not want this bill. Law enforcement in the border counties in Cochise county desperately wants this bill. They have a huge problem. They can not cope with what's coming across the border. They just don't know what to do. I believe that there would be discretion. This is an open classes felony which means it could also be a class one misdemeanor. I believe that for people who are being picked up and simply are here -- I shouldn't say simply -- who are here not causing other crimes or creating other problems they would be, according to this bill, they could be transferred to the federal agency, whether it be ice or the border patrol. It only becomes a serious felony if they are engaged in these other activities.

Michael Grant:
Would you have a problem with the bill if it focused only on that issue? If it said, listen. You're committing some other serious offense. What we're going to use this as is an aggravating factor simply to jack up what otherwise might be a low class felony to a higher class felony? Would that still be a problem?

David Lujan: Well, sure. I think if people are coming into this country illegally and committing some other crime then if it's an aggravating factor then I think that may be something you could consider. But this bill doesn't do that. It's a blanket. If you're in this country illegally you are a felon. And when the word "illegally" is used in the context of immigration, I think you need to put a big asterisk next to it and at the bottom say, oh, by the way, we have employers in the United States that are hiring undocumented and they're basically looking the other way. So we are basically enticing the undocumented people to come to this country. And oh, by the way, American consumers like the fact that because of our undocumented work force we can have lower-priced homes, our goods and services that are produced because of that work force are low price. And do Americans really want to pay higher costs if we didn't have that work force.

Michael Grant:
Almost out of time. Last word. Are we schizo on the issue?

Barbara Leff:
I think if we are a nation of laws and we always have been, then we need to say, all laws would be enforced. I think this idea that some laws can be enforced and some laws can't be enforced is just a really bad message. How do you decide which laws going to enforce? I think until the federal government makes some provisions for guest workers or some other provision for workers that it is up to us to say, the law is the law. You must enforce the law equally.

Michael Grant:
Senator Barbara Leff, thank you very much for joining us. Representative David Lujan, good to see you.

Michael Grant:
Former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley has always supported making healthcare affordable for all Americans. He was in town to speak at the healthcare symposium sponsored by the W.P. Carey School of Business. Larry Lemmons talked with Bill Bradley at the Biltmore about his time in the senate, his presidential run in 2000 and healthcare.

Larry Lemmons: Let's talk about the Senate. How would you compare it today with the way it was during your tenure?

Bill Bradley:
My impression was the senate has changed. It began to change toward the end of my career in the senate. When I came to the senate was a very collegial institution. There were frequent bipartisan majorities, frequent issues on the finance committee on healthcare, for example, that you would have republicans and democrats joining together on one side and republicans and democrats joining together on the other side. And now it's much more party line. It's much meaner. Money plays a much bigger role. And it's unfortunate. Because that means the extremes of both parties determine the agenda. And that means most of the things that people care about in this country, health, education, pensions, jobs, don't really get addressed because the extremes are more interested in their issues, whether it's abortion, gay rights, guns, whatever, right? Because that activates their base. And I think that that's unfortunate. I think the senate has changed in that way.

Larry Lemmons:
To what do you attribute the change?

Bill Bradley:
I think it's attributable to a number of things. One is the amount of money that's in politics today. And the people have to constantly raise money and therefore they become not beholden but at least they give an audience to people that before wouldn't have really heard, you won't-- you really wouldn't have heard people. I think there's a kind of-- where the politician is really not as skilled as he or she should be. And the only thing they can do is party line. And if you want to know what I really attribute this polarization to is to the way we do our congressional redistricting in this country. Out of 435 congressmen, there are about 50 seats that are not safe seats. And when you are in a district that is 60/40, republican or democrat, you don't care what the other side says. You're worried about a primary challenge which means you have to be the most extreme position possible to please the major players in a primary race. If you're in a 52/48 district, you have to figure out what does the other side, republican or democrat really want, and how do I build something that I get re-elected because I convey myself as a moderate. And because of the redistricting, most of the people don't care if they're viewed as extremists because they know they're not going to get a primary challenge if they're extremist. They'll be there. Of course they made their commitments to get the nomination. The general election in everything but 50 seats in this country is an afterthought. I think that plus money and the need to raise money constantly from more and more special interests in this country contributed to the polarization of our political process that is not serving the vast majority of Americans. How many times have you heard people say in this country in the last several years, why don't they quit yelling at each other and get something done for me, you know. And people are right.

Larry Lemmons:
Well, you talk about the polarization of the political parties and all the money involved and the lobbyists that are involved in that as well. You had always been a champion of the working people. How do you bring the focus of the political process back on to the people?

Bill Bradley:
Well, I think that you have to realize there's power in numbers. And people have to believe again that they can achieve their objectives through the political process. I mean, in 1996 and in 2000, Clinton's re-election, Bush's first election less than 50\% of the people voted. The majority of the people who didn't vote were young, poor and minority. And if you don't vote, then naturally you're not going to get policies that are going to you because politicians don't pay attention to people who don't vote. They only pay attention to people who vote since the people who vote are upper-level income, relatively, to those who don't vote, then the concerns of the vast majority of the people in this country don't get the attention that they should otherwise get. So the thing you can do is vote, right? Second thing you can do is make sure that you have your voice heard. And take responsibility for some of the things in your own life, whether it's your lifestyle, healthier lifestyle reduces healthcare costs for everybody, whether it's your pension -- saving a little money each week will help -- whether it's the problem of our ridiculous consumption of oil in this country. Making some basic choices about the car you drive, your hot water plan in your home, et cetera, you can be a part of the solution as opposed to a part of the problem.

Larry Lemmons:
I'd like to talk about your presidential run, looking back.

Bill Bradley:
Oh, yes. I remember that.

Larry Lemmons:
What did you take away from that?

Bill Bradley:
Well, the first thing I took away was the remarkable quality of the American people and the trust that they bestow on one who is running for president of the united states even if you were at my level, which I didn't get the nomination. But you saw in people's eyes their hopes, dreams, their fears and their trust that you could help solve the problem. The second thing that the American people are basically good. There's tremendous goodness in the American people, toward individual acts toward each other in our communities, for example. And generally the American people do the right thing if their leaders will tell them what the facts are, tell them the truth. And I took away from that that more politicians have to speak from their core convictions. I used to have a line in my stump speech that I must have given 10,000 times where I say, the premise of my campaign is you can tell people exactly what you believe and win. Well, I don't know if that's true. Maybe it was me. I think it was me. I think it is true. I think it was just not the best messenger for that. I think people who run for president should speak from their core convictions, not be afraid to tell the truth. Tell the country exactly what they think. You find some politicians who style themselves in that manner but then on tough issues, they dodge. And the American people respond to truth intelligence, strength, and compassion. I think somebody who runs for president that wants to win has to have that.

Larry Lemmons:
How do you feel about the conservative's relative victory in making "liberalism" a dirty word?

Bill Bradley:
Well, it's unfortunate for everybody. I mean, liberalism is not a dirty word. I mean, you know, we're founded out of the enlightenment. Our founders were liberals in the sense of believing in the perfect ability of man, not perfectibility but believing in the progress that we can have, right? I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that you think a country should have a best education system in the world, that workers who work 30 years shouldn't lose their pensions, that everybody in the country ought to have access to healthcare. I mean, we can tell truth to people. But look, you're not going to have the same job for 50 years. And your ability to get a better job is going to depend on your desire and discipline to get continuing education. Tell them the truth. But don't tell them that the problem is those people in the country who don't have as much as you do. The whole story of America is everybody can be rich, right? The whole story of America is there's upward mobility. And once people who are in the lower 50\% of the population don't feel they're going to get in the upper 50\%, then we have more serious problems than imaginable. I think it's an American idea, not liberal or conservative idea. I think it's an American idea that we should have upward mobility in this country. The difference between democrats and republicans is, republicans believe, you know, you do it all on your own. Good luck. save money for your healthcare. Save money for your pension. Democrats say, you know, there are times when people are going to hit some tough times. Times where you need a little help. And we're going to help you realize your potential in terms of your health, education, pension. And it seems to me that, you know, I believe that's the superior vision.

Larry Lemmons:
You're at the Biltmore to talk tonight the W.P. Carey School of business about healthcare. What do you think are some of the most pressing issues in terms of healthcare today?

Bill Bradley:
Two pressing issues. One is cost. Costs have gone up in double digits for the last six years. Per capita we spend six times more on healthcare than Germany and 10 times more than Canada. So I think cost is a major issue. And I think the fact that there are 45 million people in America who don't have any health insurance, for a country as rich as we are I think access has got to be a key guarantee in this country. And I don't think that we can hold our head high as long as 45 million people don't have health insurance. We end up ranking 17th in infant mortality in the world and 195,000 people die because of medical errors in hospitals. So I think that we have a lot of work to do to make our healthcare system the best. We have the best healthcare in the world. People come from all over the world because of the technology that we have. But we don't have the best healthcare system. If we're going to have the best healthcare system we have to insure everybody, we have to reduce the costs and have to have some big societal markers such as reducing infant mortality, obesity, diabetes.

Larry Lemmons:
Is there something specific that could be done to alleviate those problems?

Bill Bradley:
Yes. I mean, I think that the fact that there are 195,000 people dying in hospitals today is because of simple errors. Only 1\% of the prescription drug mistakes are caught, for example. And that means that you have to put incentives in hospitals and doctor's offices to report mistakes. And the more you report mistakes, the more you get an understanding of where there are problems in the system the more you can change the system. That also applies to the administrative part of healthcare where $295 billion is spent on administration in this country. So I think that reducing costs in those areas will give us money to be able to cover some of the uninsured.

Larry Lemmons:
Thank you, Senator Bradley for speaking with us today at the Biltmore.

Bill Bradley:
Thank you. My pleasure.

Merry Lucero:
New car buyers in Arizona can either purchase their car through an auto dealership sales office or go through a car broker who will negotiate the deal for them. A bill working its way through the state's legislature would change how that choice works for new car consumers. We'll have details Tuesday at 7 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at the issue of merit selection versus election for judges. Thursday governor Janet Napolitano will be here for the monthly conversation. Friday please be here for the journalists roundtable wrap up of the week's news events. Thank you very much for being here on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night. [music]

Announcer:
If you have comments about Horizon, please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of Horizon.

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