Thursday, October 11, 2012



Note: a look at some of the political debate.

CD3 candidates stir impassioned crowd debating immigration, DREAM Act
Saucedo Mercer, Grijalva, Guerra tackle fences, fines

2012-10-11T00:00:00Z 2012-10-11T08:53:20Z
CD3 candidates stir impassioned crowd debating immigration, DREAM Act
• Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star

Candidates for Congress in District 3 each say the immigration system
is broken.

In a raucous debate Tuesday with cheering and jeering from the
audience, they argued about their ideas for fixing it.

Democrat Raúl Grijalva, Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer and
Libertarian Blanca Guerra answered a pair of immigration questions
from Arizona Public Media and the League of Women Voters.

"I am completely in favor of legal immigration, as an immigrant
myself," Saucedo Mercer said. "We are a sovereign country with laws
and regulations and everybody should come to this country the right
way - the same way that I came."

She said Grijalva has done nothing to solve the problem.

Grijalva said it's not for lack of trying. He has co-sponsored bills
on comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act for the last
eight years, he said.
"The greatest security step we can take right now is to know who's
here, have a process for earned legalization and in that process
unify families," he said.

Guerra also supports a path to legalization, but one that involves
illegal immigrants paying fines to the government instead of paying
smugglers, she said. She also wants the government to make better use
of technology in border security.

While Grijalva said the DREAM Act, allowing those brought here as
children to stay if conditions are met, would be a good first step
toward immigration reform, Saucedo Mercer said it's "just a political
ploy to win votes."

Congress showed "a dereliction of duty when President Obama
circumvented Congress and went around us, the people, and declared
that he was going to give amnesty," she said.

Saucedo Mercer said the nation can't reform the immigration system
without first securing the border. She pointed to the double-layer
fence in San Diego as a success story.

"Securing the border is not about keeping the poor illegal alien from
coming here looking for a job," she said. "Border security is
national security issues, which we are not addressing. We have trans-
national criminals coming across the border and nobody's addressing
"Mr. Grijalva is always busy declaring wilderness areas that only
serve as sanctuaries for the drug cartels and trans-national
criminals," she continued.

Grijalva responded that the border problems can't be solved with
"platitudes and with rhetoric."

He said a targeted approach to fighting organized crime on the border
should accompany reform.
"One of the things we can't do on the border is to create the
hysteria that we can't do anything about it unless we build a seven-
layer fence," Grijalva said.

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