Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

July 12, 2007


Host: Jose Cardenas

Employer Sanctions


  • Governor Napolitano signed HB 2779 (Fair and Legal Employment Act) into legislation, sending a message to employers who hire undocumented workers. Guests talk about the impact of this legislation on HORIZONTE: Daniel Ortega, attorney and community activist, Dennis Burke, Governor Napolitano’s Chief of Staff and Todd Sanders of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce talk about the new law.
Guests:
  • Kirk Rowdabaugh - State Forester, Arizona State Land Department
  • Dennis Burke - Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor
  • Daniel Ortega - Attorney and community activist
Category: Immigration

View Transcript

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on Horizon, several forest fires are burning in our state. We'll get an update. Arizona now has the strictest employer sanctions law in the country. Three panelists will discuss the new law. And a local educator recently went to space camp for teachers. She'll tell us what she learned. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. Lightning has ignited several wildfires throughout Arizona, including one that was threatening the Kitt Peak Observatory near Tucson. But the threat to the telescopes from the Alambre fire has diminished now that firefighters have that blaze 80 percent contained. Cooler conditions and more humidity have helped control other fires as well. Here to tell us if the woods are out of the woods yet is Kirk Rowdabaugh, the state forester from the Arizona State Land Department. Kirk, welcome to Horizon. As I understand it, the focus is on fire potential. Let's talk about whether that still remains high and why.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It does. In fact as recently as last week, we were setting all-time records for fire potential for Arizona for this time of the year. This has been a very interesting fire season. In February, late February, early March, again we were setting very early, extremely high fire potential indices. We were anticipating a very extensive and difficult fire season. But by May, that had actually moderated to very average conditions because we'd had a couple rain events in May, which is very unusual for Arizona. Typically that's the driest time of the year for us. Right after those May rainy seasons, the fire potential began to climb as we would expect it to and did pretty steadily throughout the bulk of the fire season. So June was a very high potential, but in fact we didn't actually realize that. And in large part, I think that can be attributed to Arizona citizens. Typically in June, 99 percent of our fires would have been started by people. We anticipate a number of human-caused starts. And in fact they were way off this year, statistically very significant. For state fires and private land fires, we had only 40 percent of normal fire starts for this time of year. Our federal partners not quite as good. They had about 60 percent of normal. Both of those are extraordinarily significant events where Arizona citizens in fact heeded our call for caution and responded by doing what we hoped they'd do, which is to be very careful when they're in the woods.

>>Jose Cardenas:
At least one Arizona citizen did not heed that call. The news reports last week were of a 4th of July fire caused by somebody who decided to go out and have his own display.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, in Williams, there was a sad event and a number of small fires were started, four, the largest was about an acre before we could get the fireworks display shut off and the fires put out. And we had some arson fires in the southern part of the state. But really, in bulk, as we look at the fire season to date, and, by the way, it's not over, we still have at least another month of very high potential, or active potential. But in general, when we look back at this fire season, we'll remember it in large part, I think, for how well Arizona citizens did to help the firefighters in mitigating what could have been a very high potential fire season.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So is the main concern as regards to ignition, would it be lightning?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It is for this time of the year. Overall, when we look at Arizona's 50-year fire record, more than half our fires have been historically set by people. But the early season is when we tend to see the bulk of the human starts. With the onset of the monsoon in early July through August, we get a lot of lightning activity, and that accounts for the majority of the fires in the later part of the season. And so the fires that are burning in Arizona now, the larger ones, those were all lightning starts. And it's a fairly predictable event for Arizona.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you indicated before that one of the reasons the fire potential was low earlier this year was because we got some unusual, unexpected rain. What about the drought? And has that not removed some of the vegetation that would otherwise be fuel that would provide for other fires? 4

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It did this year. It can be a double-edged sword. This winter was very, very dry. Last summer's monsoon was relatively weak, and last fall's precipitation was non-existent. And last winter's precipitation was very, very low. And so we went into this year's fire season with our higher elevations with a very low snowpack. We were setting record lows for lack of snowpack, zero percent of normal in some cases by the end of February. But down in the lower elevations, there wasn't enough water over the winter to grow the annual grasses that tend to fuel the large desert fires. So we knew early on this year that we weren't likely to have as many fires in the deserts as we had in previous years but that we were likely to have a lot more fire activity in the forested areas, the higher elevations, than we had in previous years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk quickly about some of the fires that we do have that were almost extinguished. And then I want to talk about what the future holds for us. Kitt Peak.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Sure. And you mentioned Alambre just when we started. They've had good success on the fire in large part because of a change in weather that started yesterday. So there was low cloud over the fire yesterday. The firefighters had very good success. They were able to go on direct attack on the fire. And we don't really expect any further growth on that fire. We expect weather in southeast Arizona to remain relatively cool and damp at least through the start of the weekend. By that time, the firefighters will have a good handle.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Mormon Lake, 4,400 acres burned.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Again, this was a fire that received some rain the last two days and firefighters were able to take advantage of that and get a handle on it. That's a fire that's mostly contained and another fire we really don't expect to have any further growth. What growth we will get will be largely due to the activities of the firefighters burning out unburned islands and securing the line they put in place earlier.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What about the Chitty and Black Gulch fires?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Chitty occurred in very rough terrain in part in an area where the forest service had hoped to proscribe burn the fire.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What area are we specifically talking about?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
The Apache-Sitgreaves are in the northeast part of the state. It was an area they'd hoped to burn anyway, so the fire was managed first to control its growth so it didn't do any damage and second, to take advantage of that opportunity to thin the fuels and do some forest restoration. So the fire was put in a condition where they knew they could control the perimeter, and I think it will be allowed to burn out and let the rains put out the rest of it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you see a real change going on in Arizona's fire environment. Explain that for us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Absolutely. Arizona's undergone a significant and probably irreversible change in its fire environment. When we look at changes in the weather, cyclic drought, which we know is normal, and we compound that then with global climate change, we know to expect the next 20 or more years to be very dry, much drier than the previous 20 years were. Even though we're already 10 years into a drought, the climatologists will easily tell us these things can last many decades, 30, 40, even more years. We also know that because of our past management practices and the invasion of exotic species into Arizona's wild lands, our fuel conditions are just deplorable, and it's going to take decades for us to resolve these fuel conditions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So the future is grim at least in terms of what we've seen in the past?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, it's going to be a challenge. This year, it will be relatively mild, but the future really indicates that we should look forward to several years of very challenging fires.

>>Jose Cardenas:
On that note, we're going to have to end the interview. Thanks for joining us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Thank you for the opportunity.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Discussion continues about Arizona's new tough Employer Sanctions Law. Starting January 1st, employers will have to check social security numbers through the federal government's web-based basic pilot program. The penalty for employers knowingly hiring undocumented workers is the suspension of its business license for up to 10 days. For the second offense, the business could face permanent revocation of its license. Recently on "Horizonte," I talked about the new law with Dennis Burke, the Governor's Chief of Staff; Daniel Ortega, attorney and community activist; and Todd Sanders, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Here's that interview.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, let's start with you, because this legislation has gone through various iterations, the chambers and other business entities have been following it. Give us a little bit of the history and tell us how we got to where we are today.

>> Todd Sanders:
Obviously this has been something that's been cooking for probably the last three or four years. Rep. Russell Pearce has certainly made a lot of effort to get this bill passed. The governor vetoed his bill last year. The bill this year started out as sort of a three strikes type of measure. It included an affidavit that all employers would have to sign in order to operate in the state, and then it included financial penalties, criminal penalties and the possible loss of licensure. As this bill went over to the Senate, it sort of migrated and it almost right now mirrors what's in the proposed initiative that's on the streets.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Is that better or worse from the perspective of the chambers?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know if it's better or worse. From the perspective of a lot of people at the legislature, what was in the first iteration caused them some concerns with regard to federal pre-emption. I think some of the powers that be in D.C. that have sort of advised some of the members on this issue have said the first iteration with the financial penalties, for instance, could have been subject to pre-emption, and I think that's why they went the other way.

>> Jose Cardenas:
We covered some of the important provisions of the statute when we did the introduction. Any other key aspects that you think are worth noting right now?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I think it's important to talk about a few things and to note that, from where we started to where we ended, I think there was a lot of good work done by the members of the legislature to address a lot of the concerns the business community had. I think, in terms of what concerns we have, and I'm sure Dennis will talk to you about the governor's concerns, but for instance, the basic pilot program, all businesses will have to use the program beginning of the year in 2008. And one of the big concerns we have is that the federal government hasn't funded that properly, and there are some holes with that. For instance, if you're subject to identity theft, someone steals an identity and comes to an employer and tries to get a job, runs into the basic pilot. That person is going to be deemed work authorized because they stole the identity of someone who is here legally. That's one reason we advocated for a federal solution.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, as Todd indicated, the governor had some concerns but she signed the legislation anyway. Why was that?

>>Dennis Burke:
Jose, in the signing letter, she laid out her concerns with the bill. She asked for and will seek from the legislature in special session addressing discrimination concerns she might have emanating from the bill. She would like to see some coverage of critical infrastructure, hospitals, power plants, utilities, whether those would necessarily be shut down or licenses be impacted by this. She had concern with the funding levels for enforcement of it, and she also had raised concerns about remote licensing. If you have numerous facilities and you have a license for all those facilities, will you be impacted by the bill or not? But she was comfortable with it. Her position has been that, since 1986, it has been federally an offense to hire an undocumented person here, and this bill is a reflection of a state penalty for an offense that's been on the books for businesses for 21 years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
But she vetoed similar legislation last year.

>>Dennis Burke:
She did, and it was a much different bill. It had an indemnity provision. Any business that had any litigation involved because of the bill would be reimbursed by the state, and she thought she could not support that. And also it allowed, basically, last year's bill, if a company came forward and was given a cease and desist letter by the attorney general's office, they could literally be let off without any kind of penalty at all. For those provisions, she vetoed the bill and she made it abundantly clear to the proponents of the bill that she had those problems, and they still sent it to her. It was an election year, and I think there was a lot going on, more than just the good merits of let's send a bill to the governor on employer sanctions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Danny, since the bill was enacted or signed by the governor, you've been on T.V., radio, talking about flaws in the bill. In addition to what's already been discussed, what do you think are the problems with it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
I think the number one problem is that it's a piecemeal approach to dealing with undocumented immigration. It's always been our position, those of us who work with the immigrant community, that what we need is a comprehensive approach. What we need is something that deals both with the people that are here and have been here for many years, who are parents of U.S. citizens, who have equities, to deal with them, and whether we're going to legalize their status, as well as enforcement, which includes employer sanctions. When you just take the employer sanctions part and don't take into account the equities, the humans, the lives of people who have been here for a long time, then you're forgetting a big part of the equation. So it's always been our position that we oppose employer sanctions by themselves. Like I was telling you earlier, Jose, the bottom line is this - you didn't hear very much about opposing employer sanctions at the federal level from the Latino community, and that is because we finally came to grips with the fact that employer sanctions had to be a part of the package, but not by itself, and not on the state level. We wanted it to happen through Congress, the U.S. Senate, and ultimately a bill signed by the President, but the Senate and Congress showed they were incapable of passing proper comprehensive immigration reform, and as a result, we have this piecemeal approach that I don't believe is going to work. People are going to continue to need jobs, and employers are going to continue to need people to do the jobs. Since we don't have an avenue for people to come into this country legally to do those jobs, this will continue.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The governor said because of the failure of Congress to act, she had no choice.

>>Daniel Ortega:
I agree with that. I agree with that particular part of it, that because the Congress didn't act that she had to do something, particularly in light of the fact that the legislature has been sending this up to her. She had previously said she wanted something that was tougher. And she was also looking down the road with regard to what could be on the ballot as an initiative, which could have been worse. So I think she was caught in this political kind of bind. Not that I agree with her, necessarily, but that she was in a political situation where she had to do it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What's your sense of the rest of the Hispanic community? Some groups are expressing great disappointment.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Great disappointment for the same reasons that I talked about previously. This will cause tremendous human suffering. It will be a tragedy. When you have people who have been in this country for 15 to 20 years, who have children who have gone to school, I mean, many graduated from universities who are U.S. citizens, or people who have been here for 10 years, five years and who have contributed to the economy of this country, have complied with the laws but for their legal status, will now be faced with having to move to another state or, worse, to have to go back to the conditions they lived in previously with children who are U.S. citizens. The bottom line is it's going to cause a lot of human suffering, and that's why we disagree with it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, this governor has promoted herself and many think justifiably so, as very much a pro-business governor, and yet the business community was pretty much united in opposition to this. What's going to be the political fallout for this governor?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know. I've got to tell you one thing. We definitely give the governor a lot of credit for going to D.C. and trying to move the issue forward in Washington. Because I think she said all along this is a federal issue, and I think that there's no question what Danny said is correct. This is a piecemeal approach. I think in terms of what the governor did, I think the business community understands and really does appreciate that she went to D.C., she put it on the line and tried to move something on the federal level. I think that, from here, the business community really has to focus on making sure that our members understand exactly what's in this measure. There are a lot of unknowns. For instance, the provision in the bill that allows for or that calls for reporting to the attorney general. There's really not a lot of specificity there, and we'll have to see how that works and make sure our members understand how to deal with this, to make sure they follow the law. They've followed the law for the past umpteen years and in terms of the new statute, they want to make sure that they are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, one of the things that the governor's concerned about is getting more money for the attorney general, to do what?

>>Dennis Burke:
They're required to keep a database and tracking this, and part of what the governor's concern is to ensure that the attorney general's office is able to monitor this and follow any potential discrimination claims with this. That's part of the reason she's asking for additional funding. The amount of money put in this is so minimal to be able to do anything. The bill has a bifurcated structure too, in that it allows complaints to be filed with the attorney general or a county attorney, and the attorney general can then investigate it but then has to turn the case over to one of the 15 county attorneys. So there is a role for the county attorney in the early stages of any kind of complaint filed here, and the governor thinks, if you're going to be looking into this and the attorney general's going to have a role in this, you've got to provide adequate funding. And you've got to provide adequate funding to the county attorneys.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What does that mean? Right now the bulk of the money goes to the county attorneys.

>>Dennis Burke:
It will make an assessment through our budget office of additional funding, of getting a sense of how many cases could develop and so forth, it's too early to tell right now. But there's no question, with the amount of money that was put in there, that anyone who looked at the bill realizes it's not going to be enough.

>> Jose Cardenas:
How much money was it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
One hundred thousand dollars for the attorney general. 1.4 for the Maricopa county attorney and 500,000 for the county attorney of Pima. And then the rest goes to the other counties.

>>Dennis Burke:
Thirteen other counties.

>>Jose Cardenas:
To Andrew Thomas.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Jose, the bottom line is that this is a cruel political joke from a funding level standpoint. There is no way that they're going to be able to enforce this law with the kind of money that's there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More than 200 teachers recently attended a space camp in Alabama to learn about space flight and bring some of those lessons into the classroom. In a moment, I'll talk to one of 11 Arizona teachers who went to that space camp. But first Mike Sauceda tells us more about it.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Two hundred and fifty six science and math teachers from 21 countries and 43 U.S. states took part in the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy program from June 18th through the 29th. The academy took place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Science and math teachers took part in an intensive 50-hour education training program focusing on space, science, and exploration. In addition to classroom and laboratory education, they also had the opportunity to participate in astronaut training exercises, including a high-performance jet simulation, an aerial-based space mission, land and water survival training, and a state-of-the-art flights dynamic program. The teachers will return to school with new ways to teach the science of life from their own personal experience to their students. Eleven teachers who took part in the space camp are from Arizona, most from the Valley. Each Honeywell educator was awarded a scholarship following a rigorous application and selection process involving nearly 1,000 competing teachers. Including this year's class, over 700 teachers have graduated from the space academy since the program's inception in 2004.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about her experiences at the space academy is Lynn Pinda, a seventh grade science teacher from Cholla Middle School in Phoenix. Lynn, welcome to Horizon. And I can see you brought a friend with you. Tell us about him.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, Abel and Baker were some of the early monkeys that went to space in the early program for the United States NASA program, so I thought I'd bring one back for my classroom.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, that's the uniform -- you've got obviously a different size -- but that's the uniform they gave the participants.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Yeah. We, as recipients of this program, also wore space suits that we got to take home, and we wore them on all our missions while we were at camp.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How did you become involved in this program?

>>Lynn Pinda:
I had heard about the Honeywell scholarship, and I had switched schools, so I started teaching seventh grade after many years in eighth grade, and astronomy is part of the standards in seventh grade science, and I just thought it would be a great opportunity to get more information and bring experiences back to my students, the real-life type of things.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about that information and experiences. First of all, what did you learn at the space camp?

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, they put us in teams, and there were 14 in my team, and they did a lot of team building, just like you would if you're a real astronaut. They also provided us with a lot of lab activities like you saw in the clip they showed, so that we can actually do these activities with our students to get them excited about space and all the technology that supports the space program, because we won't all go to space, but a lot of us will have jobs supporting programs that are out there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What was the most memorable part of this experience?

>>Lynn Pinda:
For me, doing the two missions that you saw in the clip, it was really like being a kid again, and the enthusiasm was, it was really fun to experience it. You got jobs, and then, during your job of whether you were on ground control --

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're talking about the space missions.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Right. Uh-huh. Or if your mission was part of being in the shuttle or out in the orbiter, the space station, then sometimes they would throw anomalies at you and you'd have to solve problems in addition to your job.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tell us how you're going to take all of what you've learned and experienced and apply it to the classroom.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, I just have so many resources from my program as well as up-to-date power points on real-life things that are going on with rockets and, with that and the lab activities and some of my own pictures that I took, I think I can really get kids excited and, you know, learn more about why we're going into space and we're going back to the moon and hopefully to Mars really soon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Lynn, tell us a little bit about the history, the sense of history you got from being at this particular facility.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, the early, the real space cowboys started at Huntsville when NASA was started in the late '50s, and it -- I think that many of these were not -- you know -- there were no astronauts in the United States at that time, but they learned how to become astronauts.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And we're talking about people like John Glenn and --

>>Lynn Pinda:
John Glenn, right. And also I think that it's an important part of history, because we were in a great space race.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And on that historical note, Lynn Pinda from Cholla Middle School, we'll have to end the interview, but thanks for sharing those experiences with us.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Thank you. And thank you for Honeywell.

>>Announcer:
This week on the Journalists' Roundtable, a look at the governor's trip to Mexico. She brought a delegation of business leaders with her to network with counterparts in Sonora. The new Employer Sanctions law - we'll have more reaction from local leaders and from those in Mexico. Find out about that and more on the Journalists' Roundtable Friday on Horizon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And that's the Thursday edition of Horizon. Please stay tuned for Horizonte. It's up next.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

Fire Update


  • several forest fires are burning throughout our state. Kirk Rowdabaugh of the Arizona State Land Department will give us an update.
Guests:
  • Kirk Rowdabaugh - State Forester, Arizona State Land Department
  • Dennis Burke - Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor
  • Daniel Ortega - Attorney and community activist
Category: Environment

View Transcript

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on Horizon, several forest fires are burning in our state. We'll get an update. Arizona now has the strictest employer sanctions law in the country. Three panelists will discuss the new law. And a local educator recently went to space camp for teachers. She'll tell us what she learned. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. Lightning has ignited several wildfires throughout Arizona, including one that was threatening the Kitt Peak Observatory near Tucson. But the threat to the telescopes from the Alambre fire has diminished now that firefighters have that blaze 80 percent contained. Cooler conditions and more humidity have helped control other fires as well. Here to tell us if the woods are out of the woods yet is Kirk Rowdabaugh, the state forester from the Arizona State Land Department. Kirk, welcome to Horizon. As I understand it, the focus is on fire potential. Let's talk about whether that still remains high and why.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It does. In fact as recently as last week, we were setting all-time records for fire potential for Arizona for this time of the year. This has been a very interesting fire season. In February, late February, early March, again we were setting very early, extremely high fire potential indices. We were anticipating a very extensive and difficult fire season. But by May, that had actually moderated to very average conditions because we'd had a couple rain events in May, which is very unusual for Arizona. Typically that's the driest time of the year for us. Right after those May rainy seasons, the fire potential began to climb as we would expect it to and did pretty steadily throughout the bulk of the fire season. So June was a very high potential, but in fact we didn't actually realize that. And in large part, I think that can be attributed to Arizona citizens. Typically in June, 99 percent of our fires would have been started by people. We anticipate a number of human-caused starts. And in fact they were way off this year, statistically very significant. For state fires and private land fires, we had only 40 percent of normal fire starts for this time of year. Our federal partners not quite as good. They had about 60 percent of normal. Both of those are extraordinarily significant events where Arizona citizens in fact heeded our call for caution and responded by doing what we hoped they'd do, which is to be very careful when they're in the woods.

>>Jose Cardenas:
At least one Arizona citizen did not heed that call. The news reports last week were of a 4th of July fire caused by somebody who decided to go out and have his own display.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, in Williams, there was a sad event and a number of small fires were started, four, the largest was about an acre before we could get the fireworks display shut off and the fires put out. And we had some arson fires in the southern part of the state. But really, in bulk, as we look at the fire season to date, and, by the way, it's not over, we still have at least another month of very high potential, or active potential. But in general, when we look back at this fire season, we'll remember it in large part, I think, for how well Arizona citizens did to help the firefighters in mitigating what could have been a very high potential fire season.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So is the main concern as regards to ignition, would it be lightning?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It is for this time of the year. Overall, when we look at Arizona's 50-year fire record, more than half our fires have been historically set by people. But the early season is when we tend to see the bulk of the human starts. With the onset of the monsoon in early July through August, we get a lot of lightning activity, and that accounts for the majority of the fires in the later part of the season. And so the fires that are burning in Arizona now, the larger ones, those were all lightning starts. And it's a fairly predictable event for Arizona.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you indicated before that one of the reasons the fire potential was low earlier this year was because we got some unusual, unexpected rain. What about the drought? And has that not removed some of the vegetation that would otherwise be fuel that would provide for other fires? 4

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It did this year. It can be a double-edged sword. This winter was very, very dry. Last summer's monsoon was relatively weak, and last fall's precipitation was non-existent. And last winter's precipitation was very, very low. And so we went into this year's fire season with our higher elevations with a very low snowpack. We were setting record lows for lack of snowpack, zero percent of normal in some cases by the end of February. But down in the lower elevations, there wasn't enough water over the winter to grow the annual grasses that tend to fuel the large desert fires. So we knew early on this year that we weren't likely to have as many fires in the deserts as we had in previous years but that we were likely to have a lot more fire activity in the forested areas, the higher elevations, than we had in previous years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk quickly about some of the fires that we do have that were almost extinguished. And then I want to talk about what the future holds for us. Kitt Peak.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Sure. And you mentioned Alambre just when we started. They've had good success on the fire in large part because of a change in weather that started yesterday. So there was low cloud over the fire yesterday. The firefighters had very good success. They were able to go on direct attack on the fire. And we don't really expect any further growth on that fire. We expect weather in southeast Arizona to remain relatively cool and damp at least through the start of the weekend. By that time, the firefighters will have a good handle.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Mormon Lake, 4,400 acres burned.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Again, this was a fire that received some rain the last two days and firefighters were able to take advantage of that and get a handle on it. That's a fire that's mostly contained and another fire we really don't expect to have any further growth. What growth we will get will be largely due to the activities of the firefighters burning out unburned islands and securing the line they put in place earlier.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What about the Chitty and Black Gulch fires?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Chitty occurred in very rough terrain in part in an area where the forest service had hoped to proscribe burn the fire.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What area are we specifically talking about?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
The Apache-Sitgreaves are in the northeast part of the state. It was an area they'd hoped to burn anyway, so the fire was managed first to control its growth so it didn't do any damage and second, to take advantage of that opportunity to thin the fuels and do some forest restoration. So the fire was put in a condition where they knew they could control the perimeter, and I think it will be allowed to burn out and let the rains put out the rest of it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you see a real change going on in Arizona's fire environment. Explain that for us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Absolutely. Arizona's undergone a significant and probably irreversible change in its fire environment. When we look at changes in the weather, cyclic drought, which we know is normal, and we compound that then with global climate change, we know to expect the next 20 or more years to be very dry, much drier than the previous 20 years were. Even though we're already 10 years into a drought, the climatologists will easily tell us these things can last many decades, 30, 40, even more years. We also know that because of our past management practices and the invasion of exotic species into Arizona's wild lands, our fuel conditions are just deplorable, and it's going to take decades for us to resolve these fuel conditions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So the future is grim at least in terms of what we've seen in the past?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, it's going to be a challenge. This year, it will be relatively mild, but the future really indicates that we should look forward to several years of very challenging fires.

>>Jose Cardenas:
On that note, we're going to have to end the interview. Thanks for joining us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Thank you for the opportunity.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Discussion continues about Arizona's new tough Employer Sanctions Law. Starting January 1st, employers will have to check social security numbers through the federal government's web-based basic pilot program. The penalty for employers knowingly hiring undocumented workers is the suspension of its business license for up to 10 days. For the second offense, the business could face permanent revocation of its license. Recently on "Horizonte," I talked about the new law with Dennis Burke, the Governor's Chief of Staff; Daniel Ortega, attorney and community activist; and Todd Sanders, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Here's that interview.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, let's start with you, because this legislation has gone through various iterations, the chambers and other business entities have been following it. Give us a little bit of the history and tell us how we got to where we are today.

>> Todd Sanders:
Obviously this has been something that's been cooking for probably the last three or four years. Rep. Russell Pearce has certainly made a lot of effort to get this bill passed. The governor vetoed his bill last year. The bill this year started out as sort of a three strikes type of measure. It included an affidavit that all employers would have to sign in order to operate in the state, and then it included financial penalties, criminal penalties and the possible loss of licensure. As this bill went over to the Senate, it sort of migrated and it almost right now mirrors what's in the proposed initiative that's on the streets.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Is that better or worse from the perspective of the chambers?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know if it's better or worse. From the perspective of a lot of people at the legislature, what was in the first iteration caused them some concerns with regard to federal pre-emption. I think some of the powers that be in D.C. that have sort of advised some of the members on this issue have said the first iteration with the financial penalties, for instance, could have been subject to pre-emption, and I think that's why they went the other way.

>> Jose Cardenas:
We covered some of the important provisions of the statute when we did the introduction. Any other key aspects that you think are worth noting right now?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I think it's important to talk about a few things and to note that, from where we started to where we ended, I think there was a lot of good work done by the members of the legislature to address a lot of the concerns the business community had. I think, in terms of what concerns we have, and I'm sure Dennis will talk to you about the governor's concerns, but for instance, the basic pilot program, all businesses will have to use the program beginning of the year in 2008. And one of the big concerns we have is that the federal government hasn't funded that properly, and there are some holes with that. For instance, if you're subject to identity theft, someone steals an identity and comes to an employer and tries to get a job, runs into the basic pilot. That person is going to be deemed work authorized because they stole the identity of someone who is here legally. That's one reason we advocated for a federal solution.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, as Todd indicated, the governor had some concerns but she signed the legislation anyway. Why was that?

>>Dennis Burke:
Jose, in the signing letter, she laid out her concerns with the bill. She asked for and will seek from the legislature in special session addressing discrimination concerns she might have emanating from the bill. She would like to see some coverage of critical infrastructure, hospitals, power plants, utilities, whether those would necessarily be shut down or licenses be impacted by this. She had concern with the funding levels for enforcement of it, and she also had raised concerns about remote licensing. If you have numerous facilities and you have a license for all those facilities, will you be impacted by the bill or not? But she was comfortable with it. Her position has been that, since 1986, it has been federally an offense to hire an undocumented person here, and this bill is a reflection of a state penalty for an offense that's been on the books for businesses for 21 years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
But she vetoed similar legislation last year.

>>Dennis Burke:
She did, and it was a much different bill. It had an indemnity provision. Any business that had any litigation involved because of the bill would be reimbursed by the state, and she thought she could not support that. And also it allowed, basically, last year's bill, if a company came forward and was given a cease and desist letter by the attorney general's office, they could literally be let off without any kind of penalty at all. For those provisions, she vetoed the bill and she made it abundantly clear to the proponents of the bill that she had those problems, and they still sent it to her. It was an election year, and I think there was a lot going on, more than just the good merits of let's send a bill to the governor on employer sanctions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Danny, since the bill was enacted or signed by the governor, you've been on T.V., radio, talking about flaws in the bill. In addition to what's already been discussed, what do you think are the problems with it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
I think the number one problem is that it's a piecemeal approach to dealing with undocumented immigration. It's always been our position, those of us who work with the immigrant community, that what we need is a comprehensive approach. What we need is something that deals both with the people that are here and have been here for many years, who are parents of U.S. citizens, who have equities, to deal with them, and whether we're going to legalize their status, as well as enforcement, which includes employer sanctions. When you just take the employer sanctions part and don't take into account the equities, the humans, the lives of people who have been here for a long time, then you're forgetting a big part of the equation. So it's always been our position that we oppose employer sanctions by themselves. Like I was telling you earlier, Jose, the bottom line is this - you didn't hear very much about opposing employer sanctions at the federal level from the Latino community, and that is because we finally came to grips with the fact that employer sanctions had to be a part of the package, but not by itself, and not on the state level. We wanted it to happen through Congress, the U.S. Senate, and ultimately a bill signed by the President, but the Senate and Congress showed they were incapable of passing proper comprehensive immigration reform, and as a result, we have this piecemeal approach that I don't believe is going to work. People are going to continue to need jobs, and employers are going to continue to need people to do the jobs. Since we don't have an avenue for people to come into this country legally to do those jobs, this will continue.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The governor said because of the failure of Congress to act, she had no choice.

>>Daniel Ortega:
I agree with that. I agree with that particular part of it, that because the Congress didn't act that she had to do something, particularly in light of the fact that the legislature has been sending this up to her. She had previously said she wanted something that was tougher. And she was also looking down the road with regard to what could be on the ballot as an initiative, which could have been worse. So I think she was caught in this political kind of bind. Not that I agree with her, necessarily, but that she was in a political situation where she had to do it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What's your sense of the rest of the Hispanic community? Some groups are expressing great disappointment.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Great disappointment for the same reasons that I talked about previously. This will cause tremendous human suffering. It will be a tragedy. When you have people who have been in this country for 15 to 20 years, who have children who have gone to school, I mean, many graduated from universities who are U.S. citizens, or people who have been here for 10 years, five years and who have contributed to the economy of this country, have complied with the laws but for their legal status, will now be faced with having to move to another state or, worse, to have to go back to the conditions they lived in previously with children who are U.S. citizens. The bottom line is it's going to cause a lot of human suffering, and that's why we disagree with it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, this governor has promoted herself and many think justifiably so, as very much a pro-business governor, and yet the business community was pretty much united in opposition to this. What's going to be the political fallout for this governor?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know. I've got to tell you one thing. We definitely give the governor a lot of credit for going to D.C. and trying to move the issue forward in Washington. Because I think she said all along this is a federal issue, and I think that there's no question what Danny said is correct. This is a piecemeal approach. I think in terms of what the governor did, I think the business community understands and really does appreciate that she went to D.C., she put it on the line and tried to move something on the federal level. I think that, from here, the business community really has to focus on making sure that our members understand exactly what's in this measure. There are a lot of unknowns. For instance, the provision in the bill that allows for or that calls for reporting to the attorney general. There's really not a lot of specificity there, and we'll have to see how that works and make sure our members understand how to deal with this, to make sure they follow the law. They've followed the law for the past umpteen years and in terms of the new statute, they want to make sure that they are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, one of the things that the governor's concerned about is getting more money for the attorney general, to do what?

>>Dennis Burke:
They're required to keep a database and tracking this, and part of what the governor's concern is to ensure that the attorney general's office is able to monitor this and follow any potential discrimination claims with this. That's part of the reason she's asking for additional funding. The amount of money put in this is so minimal to be able to do anything. The bill has a bifurcated structure too, in that it allows complaints to be filed with the attorney general or a county attorney, and the attorney general can then investigate it but then has to turn the case over to one of the 15 county attorneys. So there is a role for the county attorney in the early stages of any kind of complaint filed here, and the governor thinks, if you're going to be looking into this and the attorney general's going to have a role in this, you've got to provide adequate funding. And you've got to provide adequate funding to the county attorneys.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What does that mean? Right now the bulk of the money goes to the county attorneys.

>>Dennis Burke:
It will make an assessment through our budget office of additional funding, of getting a sense of how many cases could develop and so forth, it's too early to tell right now. But there's no question, with the amount of money that was put in there, that anyone who looked at the bill realizes it's not going to be enough.

>> Jose Cardenas:
How much money was it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
One hundred thousand dollars for the attorney general. 1.4 for the Maricopa county attorney and 500,000 for the county attorney of Pima. And then the rest goes to the other counties.

>>Dennis Burke:
Thirteen other counties.

>>Jose Cardenas:
To Andrew Thomas.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Jose, the bottom line is that this is a cruel political joke from a funding level standpoint. There is no way that they're going to be able to enforce this law with the kind of money that's there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More than 200 teachers recently attended a space camp in Alabama to learn about space flight and bring some of those lessons into the classroom. In a moment, I'll talk to one of 11 Arizona teachers who went to that space camp. But first Mike Sauceda tells us more about it.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Two hundred and fifty six science and math teachers from 21 countries and 43 U.S. states took part in the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy program from June 18th through the 29th. The academy took place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Science and math teachers took part in an intensive 50-hour education training program focusing on space, science, and exploration. In addition to classroom and laboratory education, they also had the opportunity to participate in astronaut training exercises, including a high-performance jet simulation, an aerial-based space mission, land and water survival training, and a state-of-the-art flights dynamic program. The teachers will return to school with new ways to teach the science of life from their own personal experience to their students. Eleven teachers who took part in the space camp are from Arizona, most from the Valley. Each Honeywell educator was awarded a scholarship following a rigorous application and selection process involving nearly 1,000 competing teachers. Including this year's class, over 700 teachers have graduated from the space academy since the program's inception in 2004.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about her experiences at the space academy is Lynn Pinda, a seventh grade science teacher from Cholla Middle School in Phoenix. Lynn, welcome to Horizon. And I can see you brought a friend with you. Tell us about him.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, Abel and Baker were some of the early monkeys that went to space in the early program for the United States NASA program, so I thought I'd bring one back for my classroom.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, that's the uniform -- you've got obviously a different size -- but that's the uniform they gave the participants.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Yeah. We, as recipients of this program, also wore space suits that we got to take home, and we wore them on all our missions while we were at camp.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How did you become involved in this program?

>>Lynn Pinda:
I had heard about the Honeywell scholarship, and I had switched schools, so I started teaching seventh grade after many years in eighth grade, and astronomy is part of the standards in seventh grade science, and I just thought it would be a great opportunity to get more information and bring experiences back to my students, the real-life type of things.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about that information and experiences. First of all, what did you learn at the space camp?

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, they put us in teams, and there were 14 in my team, and they did a lot of team building, just like you would if you're a real astronaut. They also provided us with a lot of lab activities like you saw in the clip they showed, so that we can actually do these activities with our students to get them excited about space and all the technology that supports the space program, because we won't all go to space, but a lot of us will have jobs supporting programs that are out there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What was the most memorable part of this experience?

>>Lynn Pinda:
For me, doing the two missions that you saw in the clip, it was really like being a kid again, and the enthusiasm was, it was really fun to experience it. You got jobs, and then, during your job of whether you were on ground control --

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're talking about the space missions.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Right. Uh-huh. Or if your mission was part of being in the shuttle or out in the orbiter, the space station, then sometimes they would throw anomalies at you and you'd have to solve problems in addition to your job.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tell us how you're going to take all of what you've learned and experienced and apply it to the classroom.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, I just have so many resources from my program as well as up-to-date power points on real-life things that are going on with rockets and, with that and the lab activities and some of my own pictures that I took, I think I can really get kids excited and, you know, learn more about why we're going into space and we're going back to the moon and hopefully to Mars really soon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Lynn, tell us a little bit about the history, the sense of history you got from being at this particular facility.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, the early, the real space cowboys started at Huntsville when NASA was started in the late '50s, and it -- I think that many of these were not -- you know -- there were no astronauts in the United States at that time, but they learned how to become astronauts.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And we're talking about people like John Glenn and --

>>Lynn Pinda:
John Glenn, right. And also I think that it's an important part of history, because we were in a great space race.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And on that historical note, Lynn Pinda from Cholla Middle School, we'll have to end the interview, but thanks for sharing those experiences with us.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Thank you. And thank you for Honeywell.

>>Announcer:
This week on the Journalists' Roundtable, a look at the governor's trip to Mexico. She brought a delegation of business leaders with her to network with counterparts in Sonora. The new Employer Sanctions law - we'll have more reaction from local leaders and from those in Mexico. Find out about that and more on the Journalists' Roundtable Friday on Horizon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And that's the Thursday edition of Horizon. Please stay tuned for Horizonte. It's up next.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

Teacher Space Camp


  • A space camp for teachers was held in Huntsville, Alabama recently. The Honeywell-sponsored camp exposes teachers to astronaut training and teaches them lessons that they take back to the classroom. Phoenix teacher Lynn Pinda will talk about her experience at space camp.
Guests:
  • Kirk Rowdabaugh - State Forester, Arizona State Land Department
  • Dennis Burke - Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor
  • Daniel Ortega - Attorney and community activist
Category: Education

View Transcript

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on Horizon, several forest fires are burning in our state. We'll get an update. Arizona now has the strictest employer sanctions law in the country. Three panelists will discuss the new law. And a local educator recently went to space camp for teachers. She'll tell us what she learned. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. Lightning has ignited several wildfires throughout Arizona, including one that was threatening the Kitt Peak Observatory near Tucson. But the threat to the telescopes from the Alambre fire has diminished now that firefighters have that blaze 80 percent contained. Cooler conditions and more humidity have helped control other fires as well. Here to tell us if the woods are out of the woods yet is Kirk Rowdabaugh, the state forester from the Arizona State Land Department. Kirk, welcome to Horizon. As I understand it, the focus is on fire potential. Let's talk about whether that still remains high and why.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It does. In fact as recently as last week, we were setting all-time records for fire potential for Arizona for this time of the year. This has been a very interesting fire season. In February, late February, early March, again we were setting very early, extremely high fire potential indices. We were anticipating a very extensive and difficult fire season. But by May, that had actually moderated to very average conditions because we'd had a couple rain events in May, which is very unusual for Arizona. Typically that's the driest time of the year for us. Right after those May rainy seasons, the fire potential began to climb as we would expect it to and did pretty steadily throughout the bulk of the fire season. So June was a very high potential, but in fact we didn't actually realize that. And in large part, I think that can be attributed to Arizona citizens. Typically in June, 99 percent of our fires would have been started by people. We anticipate a number of human-caused starts. And in fact they were way off this year, statistically very significant. For state fires and private land fires, we had only 40 percent of normal fire starts for this time of year. Our federal partners not quite as good. They had about 60 percent of normal. Both of those are extraordinarily significant events where Arizona citizens in fact heeded our call for caution and responded by doing what we hoped they'd do, which is to be very careful when they're in the woods.

>>Jose Cardenas:
At least one Arizona citizen did not heed that call. The news reports last week were of a 4th of July fire caused by somebody who decided to go out and have his own display.

>>Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, in Williams, there was a sad event and a number of small fires were started, four, the largest was about an acre before we could get the fireworks display shut off and the fires put out. And we had some arson fires in the southern part of the state. But really, in bulk, as we look at the fire season to date, and, by the way, it's not over, we still have at least another month of very high potential, or active potential. But in general, when we look back at this fire season, we'll remember it in large part, I think, for how well Arizona citizens did to help the firefighters in mitigating what could have been a very high potential fire season.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So is the main concern as regards to ignition, would it be lightning?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It is for this time of the year. Overall, when we look at Arizona's 50-year fire record, more than half our fires have been historically set by people. But the early season is when we tend to see the bulk of the human starts. With the onset of the monsoon in early July through August, we get a lot of lightning activity, and that accounts for the majority of the fires in the later part of the season. And so the fires that are burning in Arizona now, the larger ones, those were all lightning starts. And it's a fairly predictable event for Arizona.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you indicated before that one of the reasons the fire potential was low earlier this year was because we got some unusual, unexpected rain. What about the drought? And has that not removed some of the vegetation that would otherwise be fuel that would provide for other fires? 4

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
It did this year. It can be a double-edged sword. This winter was very, very dry. Last summer's monsoon was relatively weak, and last fall's precipitation was non-existent. And last winter's precipitation was very, very low. And so we went into this year's fire season with our higher elevations with a very low snowpack. We were setting record lows for lack of snowpack, zero percent of normal in some cases by the end of February. But down in the lower elevations, there wasn't enough water over the winter to grow the annual grasses that tend to fuel the large desert fires. So we knew early on this year that we weren't likely to have as many fires in the deserts as we had in previous years but that we were likely to have a lot more fire activity in the forested areas, the higher elevations, than we had in previous years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk quickly about some of the fires that we do have that were almost extinguished. And then I want to talk about what the future holds for us. Kitt Peak.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Sure. And you mentioned Alambre just when we started. They've had good success on the fire in large part because of a change in weather that started yesterday. So there was low cloud over the fire yesterday. The firefighters had very good success. They were able to go on direct attack on the fire. And we don't really expect any further growth on that fire. We expect weather in southeast Arizona to remain relatively cool and damp at least through the start of the weekend. By that time, the firefighters will have a good handle.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Mormon Lake, 4,400 acres burned.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Again, this was a fire that received some rain the last two days and firefighters were able to take advantage of that and get a handle on it. That's a fire that's mostly contained and another fire we really don't expect to have any further growth. What growth we will get will be largely due to the activities of the firefighters burning out unburned islands and securing the line they put in place earlier.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What about the Chitty and Black Gulch fires?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Chitty occurred in very rough terrain in part in an area where the forest service had hoped to proscribe burn the fire.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What area are we specifically talking about?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
The Apache-Sitgreaves are in the northeast part of the state. It was an area they'd hoped to burn anyway, so the fire was managed first to control its growth so it didn't do any damage and second, to take advantage of that opportunity to thin the fuels and do some forest restoration. So the fire was put in a condition where they knew they could control the perimeter, and I think it will be allowed to burn out and let the rains put out the rest of it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Kirk, you see a real change going on in Arizona's fire environment. Explain that for us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Absolutely. Arizona's undergone a significant and probably irreversible change in its fire environment. When we look at changes in the weather, cyclic drought, which we know is normal, and we compound that then with global climate change, we know to expect the next 20 or more years to be very dry, much drier than the previous 20 years were. Even though we're already 10 years into a drought, the climatologists will easily tell us these things can last many decades, 30, 40, even more years. We also know that because of our past management practices and the invasion of exotic species into Arizona's wild lands, our fuel conditions are just deplorable, and it's going to take decades for us to resolve these fuel conditions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
So the future is grim at least in terms of what we've seen in the past?

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Well, it's going to be a challenge. This year, it will be relatively mild, but the future really indicates that we should look forward to several years of very challenging fires.

>>Jose Cardenas:
On that note, we're going to have to end the interview. Thanks for joining us.

>> Kirk Rowdabaugh:
Thank you for the opportunity.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Discussion continues about Arizona's new tough Employer Sanctions Law. Starting January 1st, employers will have to check social security numbers through the federal government's web-based basic pilot program. The penalty for employers knowingly hiring undocumented workers is the suspension of its business license for up to 10 days. For the second offense, the business could face permanent revocation of its license. Recently on "Horizonte," I talked about the new law with Dennis Burke, the Governor's Chief of Staff; Daniel Ortega, attorney and community activist; and Todd Sanders, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Here's that interview.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, let's start with you, because this legislation has gone through various iterations, the chambers and other business entities have been following it. Give us a little bit of the history and tell us how we got to where we are today.

>> Todd Sanders:
Obviously this has been something that's been cooking for probably the last three or four years. Rep. Russell Pearce has certainly made a lot of effort to get this bill passed. The governor vetoed his bill last year. The bill this year started out as sort of a three strikes type of measure. It included an affidavit that all employers would have to sign in order to operate in the state, and then it included financial penalties, criminal penalties and the possible loss of licensure. As this bill went over to the Senate, it sort of migrated and it almost right now mirrors what's in the proposed initiative that's on the streets.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Is that better or worse from the perspective of the chambers?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know if it's better or worse. From the perspective of a lot of people at the legislature, what was in the first iteration caused them some concerns with regard to federal pre-emption. I think some of the powers that be in D.C. that have sort of advised some of the members on this issue have said the first iteration with the financial penalties, for instance, could have been subject to pre-emption, and I think that's why they went the other way.

>> Jose Cardenas:
We covered some of the important provisions of the statute when we did the introduction. Any other key aspects that you think are worth noting right now?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I think it's important to talk about a few things and to note that, from where we started to where we ended, I think there was a lot of good work done by the members of the legislature to address a lot of the concerns the business community had. I think, in terms of what concerns we have, and I'm sure Dennis will talk to you about the governor's concerns, but for instance, the basic pilot program, all businesses will have to use the program beginning of the year in 2008. And one of the big concerns we have is that the federal government hasn't funded that properly, and there are some holes with that. For instance, if you're subject to identity theft, someone steals an identity and comes to an employer and tries to get a job, runs into the basic pilot. That person is going to be deemed work authorized because they stole the identity of someone who is here legally. That's one reason we advocated for a federal solution.

>> Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, as Todd indicated, the governor had some concerns but she signed the legislation anyway. Why was that?

>>Dennis Burke:
Jose, in the signing letter, she laid out her concerns with the bill. She asked for and will seek from the legislature in special session addressing discrimination concerns she might have emanating from the bill. She would like to see some coverage of critical infrastructure, hospitals, power plants, utilities, whether those would necessarily be shut down or licenses be impacted by this. She had concern with the funding levels for enforcement of it, and she also had raised concerns about remote licensing. If you have numerous facilities and you have a license for all those facilities, will you be impacted by the bill or not? But she was comfortable with it. Her position has been that, since 1986, it has been federally an offense to hire an undocumented person here, and this bill is a reflection of a state penalty for an offense that's been on the books for businesses for 21 years.

>> Jose Cardenas:
But she vetoed similar legislation last year.

>>Dennis Burke:
She did, and it was a much different bill. It had an indemnity provision. Any business that had any litigation involved because of the bill would be reimbursed by the state, and she thought she could not support that. And also it allowed, basically, last year's bill, if a company came forward and was given a cease and desist letter by the attorney general's office, they could literally be let off without any kind of penalty at all. For those provisions, she vetoed the bill and she made it abundantly clear to the proponents of the bill that she had those problems, and they still sent it to her. It was an election year, and I think there was a lot going on, more than just the good merits of let's send a bill to the governor on employer sanctions.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Danny, since the bill was enacted or signed by the governor, you've been on T.V., radio, talking about flaws in the bill. In addition to what's already been discussed, what do you think are the problems with it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
I think the number one problem is that it's a piecemeal approach to dealing with undocumented immigration. It's always been our position, those of us who work with the immigrant community, that what we need is a comprehensive approach. What we need is something that deals both with the people that are here and have been here for many years, who are parents of U.S. citizens, who have equities, to deal with them, and whether we're going to legalize their status, as well as enforcement, which includes employer sanctions. When you just take the employer sanctions part and don't take into account the equities, the humans, the lives of people who have been here for a long time, then you're forgetting a big part of the equation. So it's always been our position that we oppose employer sanctions by themselves. Like I was telling you earlier, Jose, the bottom line is this - you didn't hear very much about opposing employer sanctions at the federal level from the Latino community, and that is because we finally came to grips with the fact that employer sanctions had to be a part of the package, but not by itself, and not on the state level. We wanted it to happen through Congress, the U.S. Senate, and ultimately a bill signed by the President, but the Senate and Congress showed they were incapable of passing proper comprehensive immigration reform, and as a result, we have this piecemeal approach that I don't believe is going to work. People are going to continue to need jobs, and employers are going to continue to need people to do the jobs. Since we don't have an avenue for people to come into this country legally to do those jobs, this will continue.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The governor said because of the failure of Congress to act, she had no choice.

>>Daniel Ortega:
I agree with that. I agree with that particular part of it, that because the Congress didn't act that she had to do something, particularly in light of the fact that the legislature has been sending this up to her. She had previously said she wanted something that was tougher. And she was also looking down the road with regard to what could be on the ballot as an initiative, which could have been worse. So I think she was caught in this political kind of bind. Not that I agree with her, necessarily, but that she was in a political situation where she had to do it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What's your sense of the rest of the Hispanic community? Some groups are expressing great disappointment.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Great disappointment for the same reasons that I talked about previously. This will cause tremendous human suffering. It will be a tragedy. When you have people who have been in this country for 15 to 20 years, who have children who have gone to school, I mean, many graduated from universities who are U.S. citizens, or people who have been here for 10 years, five years and who have contributed to the economy of this country, have complied with the laws but for their legal status, will now be faced with having to move to another state or, worse, to have to go back to the conditions they lived in previously with children who are U.S. citizens. The bottom line is it's going to cause a lot of human suffering, and that's why we disagree with it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Todd, this governor has promoted herself and many think justifiably so, as very much a pro-business governor, and yet the business community was pretty much united in opposition to this. What's going to be the political fallout for this governor?

>>Todd Sanders:
Well, I don't know. I've got to tell you one thing. We definitely give the governor a lot of credit for going to D.C. and trying to move the issue forward in Washington. Because I think she said all along this is a federal issue, and I think that there's no question what Danny said is correct. This is a piecemeal approach. I think in terms of what the governor did, I think the business community understands and really does appreciate that she went to D.C., she put it on the line and tried to move something on the federal level. I think that, from here, the business community really has to focus on making sure that our members understand exactly what's in this measure. There are a lot of unknowns. For instance, the provision in the bill that allows for or that calls for reporting to the attorney general. There's really not a lot of specificity there, and we'll have to see how that works and make sure our members understand how to deal with this, to make sure they follow the law. They've followed the law for the past umpteen years and in terms of the new statute, they want to make sure that they are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Dennis, one of the things that the governor's concerned about is getting more money for the attorney general, to do what?

>>Dennis Burke:
They're required to keep a database and tracking this, and part of what the governor's concern is to ensure that the attorney general's office is able to monitor this and follow any potential discrimination claims with this. That's part of the reason she's asking for additional funding. The amount of money put in this is so minimal to be able to do anything. The bill has a bifurcated structure too, in that it allows complaints to be filed with the attorney general or a county attorney, and the attorney general can then investigate it but then has to turn the case over to one of the 15 county attorneys. So there is a role for the county attorney in the early stages of any kind of complaint filed here, and the governor thinks, if you're going to be looking into this and the attorney general's going to have a role in this, you've got to provide adequate funding. And you've got to provide adequate funding to the county attorneys.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What does that mean? Right now the bulk of the money goes to the county attorneys.

>>Dennis Burke:
It will make an assessment through our budget office of additional funding, of getting a sense of how many cases could develop and so forth, it's too early to tell right now. But there's no question, with the amount of money that was put in there, that anyone who looked at the bill realizes it's not going to be enough.

>> Jose Cardenas:
How much money was it?

>>Daniel Ortega:
One hundred thousand dollars for the attorney general. 1.4 for the Maricopa county attorney and 500,000 for the county attorney of Pima. And then the rest goes to the other counties.

>>Dennis Burke:
Thirteen other counties.

>>Jose Cardenas:
To Andrew Thomas.

>>Daniel Ortega:
Jose, the bottom line is that this is a cruel political joke from a funding level standpoint. There is no way that they're going to be able to enforce this law with the kind of money that's there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More than 200 teachers recently attended a space camp in Alabama to learn about space flight and bring some of those lessons into the classroom. In a moment, I'll talk to one of 11 Arizona teachers who went to that space camp. But first Mike Sauceda tells us more about it.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Two hundred and fifty six science and math teachers from 21 countries and 43 U.S. states took part in the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy program from June 18th through the 29th. The academy took place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Science and math teachers took part in an intensive 50-hour education training program focusing on space, science, and exploration. In addition to classroom and laboratory education, they also had the opportunity to participate in astronaut training exercises, including a high-performance jet simulation, an aerial-based space mission, land and water survival training, and a state-of-the-art flights dynamic program. The teachers will return to school with new ways to teach the science of life from their own personal experience to their students. Eleven teachers who took part in the space camp are from Arizona, most from the Valley. Each Honeywell educator was awarded a scholarship following a rigorous application and selection process involving nearly 1,000 competing teachers. Including this year's class, over 700 teachers have graduated from the space academy since the program's inception in 2004.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about her experiences at the space academy is Lynn Pinda, a seventh grade science teacher from Cholla Middle School in Phoenix. Lynn, welcome to Horizon. And I can see you brought a friend with you. Tell us about him.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, Abel and Baker were some of the early monkeys that went to space in the early program for the United States NASA program, so I thought I'd bring one back for my classroom.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, that's the uniform -- you've got obviously a different size -- but that's the uniform they gave the participants.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Yeah. We, as recipients of this program, also wore space suits that we got to take home, and we wore them on all our missions while we were at camp.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How did you become involved in this program?

>>Lynn Pinda:
I had heard about the Honeywell scholarship, and I had switched schools, so I started teaching seventh grade after many years in eighth grade, and astronomy is part of the standards in seventh grade science, and I just thought it would be a great opportunity to get more information and bring experiences back to my students, the real-life type of things.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about that information and experiences. First of all, what did you learn at the space camp?

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, they put us in teams, and there were 14 in my team, and they did a lot of team building, just like you would if you're a real astronaut. They also provided us with a lot of lab activities like you saw in the clip they showed, so that we can actually do these activities with our students to get them excited about space and all the technology that supports the space program, because we won't all go to space, but a lot of us will have jobs supporting programs that are out there.

>>Jose Cardenas:
What was the most memorable part of this experience?

>>Lynn Pinda:
For me, doing the two missions that you saw in the clip, it was really like being a kid again, and the enthusiasm was, it was really fun to experience it. You got jobs, and then, during your job of whether you were on ground control --

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're talking about the space missions.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Right. Uh-huh. Or if your mission was part of being in the shuttle or out in the orbiter, the space station, then sometimes they would throw anomalies at you and you'd have to solve problems in addition to your job.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Tell us how you're going to take all of what you've learned and experienced and apply it to the classroom.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, I just have so many resources from my program as well as up-to-date power points on real-life things that are going on with rockets and, with that and the lab activities and some of my own pictures that I took, I think I can really get kids excited and, you know, learn more about why we're going into space and we're going back to the moon and hopefully to Mars really soon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Lynn, tell us a little bit about the history, the sense of history you got from being at this particular facility.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Well, the early, the real space cowboys started at Huntsville when NASA was started in the late '50s, and it -- I think that many of these were not -- you know -- there were no astronauts in the United States at that time, but they learned how to become astronauts.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And we're talking about people like John Glenn and --

>>Lynn Pinda:
John Glenn, right. And also I think that it's an important part of history, because we were in a great space race.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And on that historical note, Lynn Pinda from Cholla Middle School, we'll have to end the interview, but thanks for sharing those experiences with us.

>>Lynn Pinda:
Thank you. And thank you for Honeywell.

>>Announcer:
This week on the Journalists' Roundtable, a look at the governor's trip to Mexico. She brought a delegation of business leaders with her to network with counterparts in Sonora. The new Employer Sanctions law - we'll have more reaction from local leaders and from those in Mexico. Find out about that and more on the Journalists' Roundtable Friday on Horizon.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And that's the Thursday edition of Horizon. Please stay tuned for Horizonte. It's up next.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

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