Earth Notes
11:01 pm
Thu July 20, 2006

Republican Candidates for Governor Debate

Phoenix, AZ – Don Goldwater, Len Munsil and Mike Harris all have
proposals to use state resources to tighten up the
border. These range from putting more of Arizona's own
National Guard troops in Southern Arizona and buying
ground radar to spot border crossers, to allowing -- if
not requiring -- local police to arrest those not here
legally. But Gary Tupper said all that ignores a basic
question.

(How much is this going to cost and is it worth
taxpayer money? And as far as enforcement goes, the
federal government is working on that. And I don't see
any reason to spend our state tax dollars on that.)

Tupper said the other thing lost in the debate is the
premise that everyone in this country illegally is a
burden. He said some people who come here are working
and contributing to society. But that idea drew
derision from Goldwater.

(We talk about the benefits that these, quote, illegal
aliens are bringing into the state. They're not
bringing in any benefits to the state. They are costing
the state billions of dollars.)

And Harris said if there was a time that people were
coming here just to work, that isn't the case now.

(I've got this from highly placed individuals in
federal agencies that right now the government of
Mexico is emptying out their prisons and dumping their
prisoners at our border, instructing them to head
north. This is real. This is happening. I've got this
on very, very reliable sources.)

Harris, however, would not disclose where his
information is coming from. Munsil also said he
supports the use of tax dollars. For example, he would
have signed legislation -- vetoed by Gov. Janet
Napolitano -- which would have spent money to buy or
lease radar units to spot people approaching the
border. He said that would give law enforcement a
chance to intercept these people before they make it
into this country. Munsil said it's not enough to say
that is the job of the federal government.

(That's been Janet Napolitano's strategy for four
years, to sit back and do nothing and say it's the
federal government's responsibility. But the people of
this state are dealing with the consequences of 5,000
plus people a day coming across the border.)

Munsil said he also would have signed another measure
vetoed by Napolitano, one that would have allowed local
police to arrest illegal immigrants on state charges of
trespass. Goldwater went a step farther, saying that
police should be required to make an arrest every time
they come across an illegal immigrant. He said the
reason a state trespass law is needed is because some
people don't believe that local police can enforce
federal immigration law.

(They forget to go back to 8 USC 1644 which states
specifically no local ordinance or local law shall
inhibit local law enforcement from enforcing the
immigration law. We have the laws on the books. If we
need to pass state laws to enforce that law, we need to
do that immediately.)

But Tupper said any such plan has to be seen in the
context of the cost to taxpayers.

(We can't arrest everybody. So it's not practical. So
why have a law that's not practical to law enforcement?
It creates an unnecessary burden on law enforcement
that I oppose.)

Whoever survives the Republican primary will face off
in November against Napolitano and Libertarian Barry
Hess. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.