Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Comment: politicians visit AZ. Under "Policy" label for lack of
better idea. Looks like we need to tell McCain about the false
positives. Maybe too, about the very light sentences for gun running
to Mexico?

Note: ""There are lots of folks who don't live in Arizona who have
no idea what the border is like," Sinema said." And obviously some
who do live here don't either.

McCain talks about guns, border in Green Valley
Sen. John McCain was in a humorous mood when he talked to the
audience in Green Valley. "It's hard trying to do the Lord's work in
the city of Satan, and so it's wonderful to be back here," he said at
one point.

9 hours ago • Becky Pallack Arizona Daily Star

Sen. John McCain stopped in Green Valley Tuesday during a statewide
tour to talk with constituents.

McCain was relaxed and joking with the audience.
"It's hard trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan, and so
it's wonderful to be back here," he told a packed room at the Green
Valley Community Performance & Art Center.

Seasonal Tucson resident Rosemary Kutschke said she was impressed
that he answered every question and amazed that he had no security.

McCain spoke for about 20 minutes about sequestration, gun control
and the U.S.-Mexico border, and then he opened the program for an
hour of "questions, comments or insults."

Here are some of his comments from the event.

On sequestration
"The results of sequestration in Arizona would be 49,000 jobs lost."

On gun control
"In 2012, there were 80,000 criminal background checks for people who
were going to purchase guns that said 'no, this is not a person who
is qualified to own a gun' because they have a criminal background or
some other reason. So 80,000 were denied. This is the number that
were prosecuted - 44. Why don't we tighten up on the people who are
in violation of the background checks? Why don't we start out with
that to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? That's one of the
measures we can take.

"Another measure we can take is to tighten up the criminal background
checks themselves. Tucson shooter Jared Loughner passed a background
check in November 2010 even though he suffered from extreme mental
illness, was deemed unqualified for service in the U.S. Army and was
expelled from Pima Community College. The system failed."

On the border
"We need some more Border Patrol agents and we need more fencing. But
we also need to use and implement the technology that we developed in
Afghanistan and Iraq. The use of drones, the use of sensors.

"I believe we can achieve border security, and I believe that we need
to address sooner or later the fact that there's 11 million people
living in this country illegally. … If we are going to provide them
with a path to citizenship, they must pay a fine, they must have
background checks, they must learn English, they must pay for any
expenses associated with that, they must get in the back of the line
behind anybody who has come to this country legally.

"There's nothing like a little time in the slammer to say 'maybe I
don't want to try and cross the border again.' "

On Benghazi
"This attack could have been prevented in my view.
"We still don't know - what did the president do on the night of the

On StarNet: Find audio clips of McCain's comments about Benghazi at

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at or 573-4346.
On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents
Associated Press
Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:44 PM

Arizona took center stage in the national immigration debate Tuesday
as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured the state's
border with Mexico and Sen. John McCain defended his proposed
immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Phoenix.

The presence of the top officials is the latest sign that Arizona
will play a prominent role in the immigration debate as President
Barack Obama looks to make it a signature issue of his second term.

Napolitano toured the border near Nogales with the highest-ranking
official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the incoming chairman
of the Senate's homeland security committee and an Arizona
congressman. Napolitano, Arizona's former governor, said afterward
that comprehensive immigration reform will strengthen the nation's
border against criminals and other threats.

Also Tuesday, McCain hosted two town hall meetings in Arizona, during
which he defended his immigration plan to upset residents concerned
about border security. A bipartisan group of senators — including
Arizona Republicans McCain and Jeff Flake — want assurances on border
security as Congress weighs what could be the biggest changes to
immigration law in nearly 30 years. Arizona is the only state with
both of its senators working on immigration reform in Congress, a
sign of the state's widely debated border security issues.

Immigration activists and elected officials say it's only natural for
Arizona to continue to take the forefront in the national
conversation on immigration after years of internal debate on how to
handle scores of immigrants.

"No state in this country has had more experience with enforcement-
only immigration laws than Arizona," said Todd Landfried, executive
director of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, which opposes
the state's tough immigration laws.

During a heated town hall gathering in the Phoenix suburb of Sun
Lakes, McCain said the border near Yuma is largely secure, but said
smugglers are using the border near Tucson to pump drugs into
Phoenix. He said immigration reform should be contingent on better
border security that must rely largely on technology able to detect
border crossings.

He said a tamper-proof Social Security card would help combat
identity fraud, and noted any path to citizenship must require
immigrants to learn English, cover back taxes and pay fines for
breaking immigration laws.

"There are 11 million people living here illegally," McCain said. "We
are not going to get enough buses to deport them."

Some audience members shouted out their disapproval.

One man yelled that only guns would discourage illegal immigration.
Another man complained that illegal immigrants should never be able
to become citizens or vote. A third man said illegal immigrants were
illiterate invaders who wanted free government benefits.

McCain urged compassion. "We are a Judeo-Christian nation," he said.
McCain's other town hall meeting took place in Green Valley, south of

Arizona gained international recognition as an epicenter of the U.S.
immigration debate when it passed its tough anti-immigrant law in
2010. A handful of other states — including Georgia, Indiana, South
Carolina and Utah — have since adopted variations of Arizona's law.

Arizona has the nation's eighth-highest population of illegal
immigrants, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Center. In 2010,
illegal immigrants represented roughly 6 percent of the state's

Activists said Arizona's anti-immigrant laws inspired many illegal
immigrants to demand more rights. Last week, some college students
rallied outside Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office for driver's
licenses for illegal immigrants.

"They no longer are afraid to come and say, 'I am not able to vote,
but I can make my voice heard, and they have to listen to me,'" said
community organizer Abril Gallardo.

A report released in January showed the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson
sector remains the busiest along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Tucson
sector accounted for 38 percent of all drug seizures and 37 percent
of all apprehensions along the border.

Brewer said last week the border cannot be declared safe until the
people living near it feel secure from drug human trafficking.

But Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona told Latino
and black community leaders at a Phoenix luncheon Tuesday that
Arizonans need to spread the word on how much more secure the border
has become.

"There are lots of folks who don't live in Arizona who have no idea
what the border is like," Sinema said.

Napolitano toured the border Tuesday afternoon with U.S. Customs and
Border Protection Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar, Democratic Rep.
Ron Barber of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware.
Carper is the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee.

She said in a statement after the tour that border crossings are down
50 percent since 2008 and 78 percent since their peak in 2000.

Note: Career suicide? Releasing names? Guess someone needs to
inform him that "hispanics" can read too?

Tim Steller: Napolitano's tour of border makes Brewer look good
9 hours ago • Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Nogales,
Ariz., Tuesday to show off border security to a key U.S. senator from

We know this because on Friday, Napolitano spokesman Matt Chandler
said in a press release that she would be visiting, adding in the
last sentence: "More details on the trip will be released once they
are finalized."

By "finalized," Chandler apparently meant "completed," because the
next details of the trip came out Tuesday afternoon - a short summary
of the trip when it was over.

Napolitano made no public appearances. She did no interviews.

This has become common practice for the secretary of homeland
security, at least here in her home state. She made a similar visit
to Nogales in December. No public appearances, no interviews.

It's hard to believe this is the same Napolitano who was a relatively
open governor of Arizona in what seems like a different epoch, though
it ended just four years ago. As governor, Napolitano held a press
conference every Wednesday, an unmatched practice in recent Arizona

How things have changed.

Last week I criticized Gov. Jan Brewer for her secrecy in not
releasing the names of Southern Arizona ranchers with whom she met to
hear about border security. I continue to suspect Brewer skewed the
results of her border-security tour by listening to people who would
tell her what she wanted to hear.

But by comparison to Napolitano, Brewer was a model of transparency.

After her border tour, Brewer held a brief press conference at Tucson
International Airport. She uttered what I consider inanities - "Our
border is open," among them - but at least answered a few questions
before being whisked off.

Napolitano didn't even make that gesture.

Neither, it appears, did she and Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, the new
chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, meet with groups
of "stakeholders," a common feature of federal visits to the

Jaime Chamberlain, a produce-warehouse owner in the Nogales area,
told me Tuesday he would have loved a chance to speak with
Napolitano. His priority - typical of people who actually live at the
border or cross it frequently - is having enough staff at the ports
of entry to ease congestion and facilitate trade.

"We're not working to our full potential at the border," he said.

But she and Carper didn't meet with Chamberlain or other border people.

"We participated in an aerial tour of the U.S.-Mexico border, visited
the Mariposa Port of Entry, and met with the men and women who serve
on the front lines to protect our nation's borders," the summary says.

The funny thing is, Napolitano has answered questions recently. On
Feb. 4 and 5, in San Diego, then El Paso, she held press conferences
taking questions about immigration reform and border security.

Yet this is not only her home state, but the most active corridor for
smuggling, and she neglected to answer questions here, again.

More confounding is the fact that she has an argument worth making here.

Four U.S. congressmen from the Phoenix area and Northern Arizona
issued an alarmist letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner
Tuesday arguing the border should be secured before immigration
reform proceeds.

There's nothing wrong with that argument, but to make it they stoop
to out-of-touch stereotypes.

"The United States-Mexico border, especially along the southern
border of Arizona, has been host to frequent and extreme violence,"
wrote Republican U.S. Reps. Matt Salmon, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar and
David Schweikert. They add, "In the past few years, violence on the
border of Mexico has escalated."

Napolitano has a valid counterargument to this, and her staff makes
it for her in prepared, sanitized statements. Border staffing is at a
historic peak. Rates of violence are low in most border areas,
despite the scary rhetoric, which seems to reference violence across
the line in Mexico.

Napolitano needs to make that argument herself. Here, in her home
state, in public.

Note: and from JNO

Napolitano, Carper in Nogales today
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was in Nogales today
to see the Department of Homeland Security's border security
operations at the Southwest border.

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:46 pm | Updated: 8:53 am, Wed
Feb 20, 2013.
By the Nogales International | 0 comments

The following is a joint statement by Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Chairman Tom Carper:
"Today, we traveled to Nogales, Ariz., to see the Department of
Homeland Security's border security operations at the Southwest
border and on-going efforts to secure the border, while facilitating
lawful travel and trade. We participated in an aerial tour of the
U.S.-Mexico border, visited the Mariposa Port of Entry, and met with
the men and women who serve on the frontlines to protect our nation's
"Over the past four years, the Obama Administration, working together
with Congress, has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology
and resources to the Southwest border, and undertaken an
unprecedented effort to transform our nation's immigration
enforcement systems into one that focuses on public safety, border
security and the integrity of the immigration system.
"The Border Patrol is better staffed today than at any time in its 88-
year history, having doubled the number of agents from approximately
10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,300 today. Attempts to cross the
border illegally, as measured by U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions,
totaled nearly 365,000 nationwide in Fiscal Year 2012, representing a
nearly 50 percent decrease since Fiscal Year 2008 and a 78 percent
decrease from their peak in Fiscal Year 2000. Additionally, from
Fiscal Year 2009 to 2012, Customs and Border Protection and
Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 71 percent more currency,
39 percent more drugs, and 189 percent more weapons along the
Southwest border as compared to Fiscal Year 2005 to 2008.
"Comprehensive immigration reform will help us continue to build on
this progress and strengthen border security by focusing resources on
preventing the entry of criminals, human smugglers and traffickers,
and national security threats."

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