Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 14, 2008

Host: Ted Simons

Terry Goddard

  • Arizona Attorney General joins us to talk about several issues, including a fight with the county over encroachment around Luke Air Force Base.
  • Terry Goddard - Arizona Attorney General

View Transcript
Ted Simons
>>> Hello and welcome to “Horizon." I’m Ted Simons. The self-deporting program started by immigration and customs enforcement last week so far resulted in six volunteers. The self-deporting program is aimed at nearly half a million illegal aliens. Among the six who volunteered to leave the country was an Estonian from Phoenix. The pilot program in five cities ends August 22nd.

Ted Simons
>>> The state has sued the county to protect Luke Air Force Base from encroachment. The county says it is allowing development surrounding the base to protect property rights. Joining us to talk about this is Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Terry Goddard
>> Luke is not only a critical asset to the national defense but the economy to Arizona. $2 billion a year in recession proof funds come in because of the payroll at Luke Air Force Base. One of the things they made clear in the annual, periodic evaluations of these bases, we in government have to protect them. We have to stand up and make sure they can continue to perform their mission. In that light, the legislature four years ago passed a statute that specifically said you cannot build residential property, you cannot build homes in the high accident potential zones, and in the high noise zones, and they asked every county and every city that had property that was affected by a national defense facility to change their state plans, excuse me, land use plans to conform with the state requirements.

Ted Simons
>> It sounds as though the county cannot legally build there, but the county says not only it can, but have to protect private property rights and to compensate some of these folks who are going to lose money.

Terry Goddard
>> We found out because of the hard work of a number of West Valley cities, Peoria in particular did a map that showed how many new building permits have been granted. Everybody knew some were being granted. There were 96 in the last almost four years that have been granted in the high accident potential zone and in the high noise zones prohibited by state law. The county is a subdivision of the state and they cannot pick and choose and say we will follow this statute and not that one. In this case that is what they did. They continued in violation of state law to grant 96 residential permits. I had to go to court and we’re going to ask for a preliminary injunction. Change your zoning plans -- you can do other things, land owners are not deprived of all of their rights. Anybody who has had property in the vicinity of a major defense facility like Luke air force base, the fact they might not know, this is not a surprise to them, that there are over 40,000 landing and takeoffs from Luke and its affiliated facilities every year. That is not a secret. Landowners knew there were restrictions and they acknowledged them. The county in essence wants to up zone their property and oh, you were not going to -- now we’re going to let you do it.

Ted Simons
>> We will keep an eye on that story as it proceeds. The crime suppression sweeps the sheriff is doing here in Maricopa County. Your department is monitoring those sweeps.

Terry Goddard
>> We know about them. The last one was frankly a surprise to a lot of people. In the Mesa sweep and certainly others, our investigators will be on the scene because we want to make sure that the peace is kept and we want to make sure that frankly the law is being followed. As long as legitimate arrests are being made for violations of the law, of course the sheriff can do that. But I’m very concerned and some of the allegations recently, people being stopped because they look like they're Latino, that goes over the line in terms of our civil rights laws.

Ted Simons
>> Have you received specific complaints to that end?

Terry Goddard
>> Yes, we have.

Ted Simons
>> That is as far as you can go on that one.

Terry Goddard
>> It is. Our jurisdiction does not go into some of these areas. Some are federal, not state crimes. There is a concern for all of us that this might go into stopping people because of who they are, not what they have done.

Ted Simons
>> Before we let you go, I know you are headed off tomorrow, talk to us about the cooperation with Mexican law enforcement.

Terry Goddard
>> I’m excited about this. A period of about a year so far of unprecedented assistance from the government of Mexico and state enforcement agencies in Mexico. For a long time, please help us with the war against drugs, problems with immigration, flood of folks coming across the border and we got no response. This new administration, they have stepped up and helped us in the fight against methamphetamine, stopping the supply being manufactured or cutting it way down from illegal facilities in Mexico. This effort that we're signing with the state of Sonora is to help with everything from stopping human trafficking across the border and on our side trying to stop the sale of illegal arms that are going to Mexico.

Ted Simons
>> Quickly, is it safe to say the Mexican government will help as far as human smuggling is concerned providing the American government helps with things like smuggled arms?

Terry Goddard
>> That is one of the things we’re agreeing to basically. We will help with law enforcement issues on our side of the border, if you will help us. They have stepped up. One of the things I’m most excited about is the possibility of doing bi-national criminal investigations, where if we have a suspect that may be in Mexico or in the United States, we will open the file on them, Mexico will, too, and we will have a much better chance of getting some of these very serious criminals.

Ted Simons
>> Thank you for joining us.

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