What Southern Arizona-specific issues will you champion in Congress?
The Star invited Southern Arizona's congressional candidates to answer that question.
This is the second of three Sundays of guest commentaries by the congressional candidates. Find previous columns at www.azstarnet.com/opinion
More blue, less green. Nogales and Yuma are very important ports of entry to the United States for produce coming from Mexico. This produce has a short shelf life. Any delay in getting the produce across the border and to its destination can be extremely costly to all involved.
Arizona has been unable to process the incoming produce expeditiously. The traders in Mexico are considering taking their produce away from Arizona and processing it through the entry at McAllen, Texas - effectively taking the jobs to Texas with them.
One of my priorities would be to demand more customs agents (agents in blue uniforms) to process the produce and trade through the border more effectively and not more Border Patrol agents, (agents in green uniforms) to ferret out undocumented.
Our leaders have ignored the desperate need for jobs in Southern Arizona. This attitude must be turned around.
Redirect funds to modernize Arizona's ports of entry.
The trade commerce in Nogales and Yuma is up and coming. Funds need to be redirected to modernize the infrastructure making our border cities appealing to new businesses. This trade with Mexico will create many blue-collar and white-collar job opportunities in our border towns.
Division is affecting Arizona's economy.
Partisanship wars have no limits. I will participate with the state legislators to encourage unity within state lawmakers to promote a "job creation" atmosphere. The recent SB 1070 issue has caused bitterness between Arizona and our southern neighbor. I want to mend that weakened communication and promote commerce and trade with Mexico.
I will encourage more and regular meetings with the representatives of Mexico and Arizona to encourage more positive ideas and resolutions for each other's country.
Immigrants stimulate the economy.
Let us treat immigrants as an asset and not as a liability. I will propound plans that will make the process of permits easier for individuals to apply. I shall push for the seasonal workers permits to be increased to help our local farmers harvest a higher percentage of their produce. It was recently reported that the farmers were leaving up to 80 percent of their produce on the ground because of the lack of seasonal workers, forcing the prices of produce up.
Our present immigration policies promote crime.
The difficult permit process forces immigrants to give thousands of dollars to the criminals who get them across our borders illegally. Reforming the process, making it easier for immigrant workers and buyers to come to this state and purchase our goods, work those jobs Americans will not work, pay taxes and stimulate the economy.
Reforming the policies will allow for immigrants to feel safer about going back to their home countries if the process for visiting the state could be easier.
Guerra is the Libertarian candidate in District 3, which includes the south and west sides of Tucson plus much of Southwestern Arizona.