tv Border Security in Texas CSPAN November 29, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EST
>> good morning. on behalf of the texas tribune i am happy to welcome you to a panel called "border reality check." we are scheduled to talk for about an hour. the last 15 minutes will be reserved to questions from the audience. i will remind you that the hashtag for this event is #ptf. in the interest of time, i ask you to look at your programs for
bios of the gentlemen. i will introduce them by name. oscar leeser ruben villarreal -- thank you, gentlemen, for joining us. [applause] >> i would like to ask, in relation to the $800 million border security package, is that a blessing or a curse? >> two things, it is a curse because of the publicity with the national guard and that $800 million to protect the border, it gives the impression that the border is unsafe, which is not . when we go to recruit industry we are doing it from the economic development standpoint.
it has created a problem for us. the first question people ask is, what about security in that area? the border security issue is bad from a political standpoint. it does have a positive standpoint, and there is some money in there, for example intelligence and infrastructure for that. as i always say, coming to a neighborhood near you is the word for the first line of defense on that, but overall i would say publicity outweighs a little bit more than the benefits immediately. host: how about you, blessing or curse? >> i would echo the same sentiment. it is really both. i appreciate the fact that the governor is interested in the border, but it does bring this publicity -- negative publicity that the border is not safe. laredo and all the entire border
frankly, is very safe. there is plenty of data that evidences that. it is more on the mexican side frankly. the laredo area now is a lot safer than maybe the lower valley area up on the mexican side but they take turns every so often. the texas border is safe, and i one to conclusively state that people wanting to visit the border, please come. it is truly safe. host: mayor leeser, do you think this would be stomped on order border issues -- other border issues? >> that's where i was going to lead you. one of the biggest things is trade that comes through our borders. it is important that we make it easy to be able to do trade. if we have that kind of money, i believe we need to spend it on
agents to go on the bridges and kind of expedite the crossings. through el paso alone, we have $90 billion to $100 billion from the trade that crosses every year. the city of el paso went ahead and took on a project. we are actually funding to be able to open up the bridges and expedite. if we have that kind of money and we are looking to open the bridges, this would be a great place to spend it, and it would make it easier to keep trade coming across the border. host: mayor villarreal, do you think the issue of trade is subservient to the issue of fear, with what is going on in mexico? mayor villarreal: not at all. i know it is a blessing. it sounds like a big number, but it is necessary. our borders are very porous.
the responsibility of the border is actually going to the federal government. they have been derelict in their duty to do so. texas has stepped up in a big way and provided that. as for as economies go, i am a small business person a long the border. i have the utmost respect for any border people that have any businesses, because the border economies are resilient. we have survived numerous diwali -- we have survived numerous devaluations. we have survived the recession we have survived 9/11, we survived hurricanes. i will tell you that the vibrancy of the border and business along the border has never been better, and i believe as we go forward we are going to see much more of that. host: mayor martinez, the politics of securing 800 million dollars is politics at the state level, but does it come at the experience of cities like your own? -- comment the expense of cities like your own? mayor martinez: you have to understand it is what it is.
the most practical approach is how do you use the $800 million to your advantage? from our standpoint, we all know the border is secure. every mayors sitting here knows it is a good thing. i don't care if you are from rio grande city, mcallen, laredo, or el paso. we all have to understand it. it is a reality. now, how do we use that from an $800 million economic standpoint to do it for your advantage, and had a we do it so that it is used more as an economic and trade situation than it is a security situation? you have to be smarter than that to define everything coming across the table. host: how do border cities, the -- how do border cities combat the image of rapists and bad people coming over the border? >> we are doing that right now. we went to reynosa, met with a mayor and his people over there
-- and a newspaper over there. we say, it is safe. you have to be careful whether you are in washington d.c., chicago, or many cities in the united states. you have to be careful where you go it night. that is no different in mexico. unfortunately, the publicity they get down there is a problem. i drove a fire truck in reynosa. we have to have more understanding of what goes on in law enforcement, and show them it is safe. 2000 maquilladora managers go to mexico every day to work. talking about this is very important. mhost: mayor saenz, what about in your neck of the woods? mayor saenz: the newspaper once
said we were very dangerous. people do ask, i leave laredo and that is usually the first or second question i am confronted with. i want to show people that laredo is safe and our border is safe. the fact that you are allowing us -- for me to speak these words in front of this audience is good, because we want to texas, the entire u.s., and the world to know that the border is completely safe. it is crucial also for trade. but we will get to that? we will have other questions on trade and commerce. host: how do you coexist with the notion that a city like juarez has problems like homicide? mayor leeser: we started working together. it is one of the things the mayor wante -- mayor suarez and i wanted.
once we started working as a region, it really made a big difference. the mayor and i actually travel to detroit and chicago, and we have gone to companies that do business within the two cities. our message is, what do you know about el paso, warez? -- juarez? a lot of the times what they know is what they google or read. our job is to go out there and talk to them together as one. they have never had -- i've had people who have been in business 30 years or 25 years, they say they have never had both mayors come out to us and talk to us about what is going on. we actually made all issues head on as we talked. we continue to travel together and see that el paso being the safest -- one of the safest cities in country, over 500,000, and juarez is becoming a very
safe city. it is important that we continue to go out and promote as one. host: how do you go from security to the economic benefit that mexico brings? >> let me be clear that border security is an ongoing effort, but let's not lose like of the fact that we have some of the most wonderful law enforcement officers. we have border patrol agent's dps troopers, all working together in court a communities. i was blessed to say what we were going through the immigration crisis, i had communication with the highest level of each organization within law enforcement. they were working with us, not against us, to combat this idea of the border being unsafe. what you have to do is communicate. december extent, the creation of media and social media creates this image that is not just and
not true. that is why when you hear people say it over and over again, that we are not safe -- we are actually extraordinarily safe. it is also a testament to law enforcement officers that are out there, making sure we are safe. host: is it an image problem when you are driving from mcallen to rio grande city, when you see a dps trooper every mile along the way? that seems to be a problematic perception. >> the situation along the border has been a constant situation of high surveillance. the border has been under watch for many decades at different levels. for example the national guard , that came in and 2014 was also there in 2012. they are doing the same thing, looking at the horizon reporting to the necessary law
enforcement officers in charge of the situation. they did that so well. even in 2014, their duty was along the river. their job is to major the community was safe. they stayed as far from the community as possible to preserve the integrity and goodness of the communities in texas. that is how you combat that. making sure you have law enforcement working in conjunction with communities to find a good solution to the problem. >> mayor martinez, do you feel safer because of the presidents -- presence of the national guard in your community? mayor martinez: nothing has changed in border security. the number of apprehensions of adults going across the border never changes. in fact, it decreased significantly. you have an increase of unaccompanied children and families. that became a border those crisis. those people were not coming across the river, they were coming to seek asylum.
what they needed was to social workers to handle the families and unaccompanied children. the press took that into being some sort of huge border crisis. the crisis is in south and central america and mexico where economic violence and trafficking has forced people to flee. from a standpoint of illegal people coming across the river those numbers have not changed. the whole border crisis issue, when you're asking if it has changed -- nothing has changed from our standpoint -- except we had 25,000 people, family members, come across into our bus station who needed aid. when you talk about border security and the crisis, there was no crisis in border security. that has just been a figment of the news people. it makes good print. i'm not afraid, nothing has changed. it has been frustrating to deal with that, because if you are down there, what has changed is we have people who need aid. we gave them that.
>> the mayor is correct. we know each other quite well. the difference was the type of immigrants. they come from central america this time. we are used to immigrants who come from the same place. the central american immigrants are more desperate, more determined, or themselves into -- threw themselves into more danger continuously. i personally witnessed at 5:00 on a friday, on a busy street in rio grande city, coming out of my place of business, we were caught in the middle of a group of about 10 central americans who ran right through us. dps troopers were following them, and our police officers were following them. not as much to apprehend them, but to keep them safe. to make sure they stopped endangering their lives. it is very important to remember that the crisis we talk about was created also because they came from central america, and there were children involved.
nobody in infrastructure had handled children. i actually have pictures. i don't know why i snapped the pictures, i thought it might happen again. but they were children, and they come from a place other than mexico. carlos: mayor martinez, is it time for the national guard to vacate the valley? mayor martinez: i think it probably should have never been there to begin with. the whole idea is, if we don't really address the true problem, and that is that we are all a human family that needs to be taking care of each other. when we talk about central america and the different customs and reasons why they came, we have to understand that really we had -- nobody really wants to come over here illegally. nobody really wants to emigrate -- really wants to emigrate from their country. there are only two reasons why they do it, safety or economic reasons. it is no different than what you
have going in syria, no different than what you have going on across the nation, and the world. if you try to understand what is going on with the dynamics, and again, fear sells papers, and i understand there is an economic reason for that, but we have to get to the core of the matter and understand why they are fleeing and how we address those as opposed to just talking about fear? carlos: fear does sell papers, but it also will ask -- but it also he likes politicians. how is that a problem at the -- but it also elects politicians. how is that a problem at the state and national level? mayor martinez: i am not sure what you mean by that, because we need to go out and educate people around the country. one of the things we are talking about -- in el paso, people want to go back to what it is all stop people want to go back to the country they loved.
just like mayor martinez said, they want to make a living in their countries, so how do we work together to help them? the biggest problem we have in juarez is that there is a shortage of workers. people want to come to the country, so we have to work together as one unit to educate and help each other grow. i am not sure i understand the question that fear elects politicians, because doing the right thing would not be fear, doing the right thing is greeting a better world for us to live in. that is what we need to do. carlos: mayor martinez, a few weeks ago you were one of several mayors on both sides of the border who signed an agreement forming what is called the binational economic development zone. can you explain what that is and its significance? mayor martinez: going back to whatever betty stated, we are -- going back to what everybody has stated we are one region. , just because we have a river that runs through it does not mean we are 2 separate entities.
the idea behind the agreement is that we understand where mexico is and the security problems they have. we don't feel we have the same problems, but how do we help them? we have a highway but how do we reach out to them and make them profit oriented? i don't think you can isolate. this is the global economy. you can not let borders get in the way of progress. that is the whole idea behind the binational agreement. i hope it extends and is a model for the rest of the border, and keeps going up. i know we have a lot of interests in laredo in el paso as to how we are doing this. the idea was to go from brownsville to san diego. that is the whole idea. we have to understand that mexico is a big trading partner. texas knows this more than anybody else. this is why i am glad we are having this discussion. i think that once we get this
education, as the mayor said, when we educate the folks come , down and visit us, come down and see what we've got. we have a great thing going. in my part of the country, we have spacex coming. i think we will reach for the stars and see them. i think that is the message that needs to get across. we need to have a conversation but we need to have action. you have to see what we are doing. carlos: standing on this notion, somebody drew the comparison -- the mayor of austin tried to sell the city without giving any kind of data or interest south of the colorado river. is that a challenge you will face? mayor saenz: we do. laredo alone, we do $2 billion worth of trade with mexico. it is huge, the number one land port in the entire u.s.-mexico border.
it is incumbent on us to spread the message that laredo is open for business. we work closely with their mexican counterpoints. we need to see mexico in a higher light. the immigration issue is huge and big, our border needs to be secured, and we need comprehensive immigration, we would all agree to that. but beyond that issue mexico is , our second, third largest trading partner. we need mexico. we are tied to the hip. we need to be careful what we say and presented to the world. especially now, i know it is the political season, but we know the border. we live the border. we breathe the border. mexico is huge for us. from my standpoint, what i have seen, the people i have visited it has huge potential. , we have energy potential, we have the maquilladoras.
i am talking to an area on the other side. yes, we need to sell it. again, i thank you for the forum, for the opportunity of spreading the word. the border area should be looked at as a reasonable area, global area. we have so many assets and so much capacity there that the people don't understand -- they just don't see that. it is our job to make that known to everyone. mayor leeser: we forget a little bit how much trade comes across his area, but it is not for el paso it is for the whole united states. it depends on millions of jobs across the u.s. trade is not just for the local area.
it is important we continue for our area, economy, jobs, and the whole united states. that is what we need to focus on. carlos: it seems larger cities are beginning the process of classifying combined msas. i'm wondering to what extent there is value in an international combined msa? could you address that issue? mayor martinez: we have looked at that. it is over 3 million people. because we have tens of thousands of people across our river doing trade. we are the large sales tax per capita in the state of texas because of the mexican trade. it makes sense when we go to sell something up north from an economic development standpoint that we show those numbers is a combined msa. it is so much stronger than to tell our story.
when you have msa figures that are there, i think it makes much more sense to do that. carlos: mayor villarreal? what do you think is the value? mr. villarreal: it is the future. us being able to work internationally with mexico, and other countries for that matter, is the future. we had nafta many years ago that open up borders and our minds to new opportunity, if we want to look for the future for taxes -- for texas and this nation, i will tell you that mexico is texas' number one trading partner, and the country's number three trading partner. that is a lot. if we want to open new avenues to the future, we have to go into mexico and make sure that we erase the border that exists, and replace it with no borders for business. whatever benefits the trade of this nation and consonant and if -- and continent, and benefits
everybody who lives in the country. we have to look past the borders that exist. business is so large and expanding, and in the future you will see a more vibrant rio grande valley. carlos: my newspaper went on a tour and got wonderful insight into the city of ran as a. -- the city of reynosa. as they were returning to the united states, it took them three hours to cross the border. how do you balance the issue of this trade flow and increased potential trade flow with security? how do you prevent three-hour waits? mayor leeser: i addressed it a little with my first answer. it is the private-public partnership between the city. the city pays for overtime agents for the peak times. it is really a moving number, a moving target force. -- a moving target for us. the christmas season or any type
of holiday, we have to continue to keep shifting. then determine where the starting point is to see the gates. one thing we have noticed since we did the partnership is that times have decreased a little bit, but the traffic has increased a lot. if you have a lot of traffic increase, you would have a time increase, but that did not happen. we had a slight decrease in time. i just met two or three weeks ago with mayor juarez, and he said they were having issues with turnaround around, we're having an issue with trucks. how do we turn around and make sure that they can keep moving their merchandise? we talked about extending hours. we got cbp to agree. they opened at 6:00 and agreed to start opening at 4 a.m.. -- 4:00 a.m. we are looking at expanding the
hours starting at 4:00 a.m. and adding two hours to the commercial traffic so that it is even better than you would think, because there is no traffic during the city as they are coming through. we have also done another thing that is very important -- they bring their empties. we have 2500 empties coming across every day. they have to be x-rayed as they are coming through. we work with mexico in the ambassador of washington to build a second x-ray machine at one of our ports of injuries that will cut time in half now as they come through. again, returning on investment is the most important thing. a second x-ray facility will be opened in november, so we are very excited. we are looking at ways to continue to have private and public investment in the city and the people that are trying to continue to do business within our community. carlos: mayor sands, etiquette
-- mayor saenz, it is clear that the economic conditions on the border are very tight. mayor saenz: taxes and the u.s. should see it as what value does the border bring to the rest of the state, and what value does a great port area bring to the united states? we bring a lot of value. 6 million jobs depend on border trade. the u.s.-mexico economy is over $500 billion worth of trade. it comes through our borders and that is essential. it creates all sorts of jobs.
going back to the issue of security, after 9/11 things changed, and we all recognize that. we have to balance security versus trade jobs, and economic development. i praise the cbp. could things have been done better? absolutely. we are trying to work on infrastructure fluidity. we want commercial trucks moving commerce, trade, and business there are borders as soon as possible. we know if someone in montana or st. louis -- we know that someone in montana and st. louis is depending on that merchandise to make their own living. we are all interdependent. we have to find that balance and become more efficient
especially in the border areas and crossing merchandise. carlos: mayor darling, i want to expand on your comment on 9/11 because understandably this country hunkered down after 9/11. mexico did something quite different. i came across a fact list that inspired this. the united states has three trade agreements with 20 different countries around the world. mexico has free-trade agreements with 44 different countries around the world. what are the implications of that for communities like yours? mayor darling: it shows how progressive mexico is in relation to trade. our goal down here is a safe border, not a closed border. i want to point out that manufacturing reynosa is a , manufacturing capital. you cannot build a car in the united states without parts being delivered from mexico. when people from michigan come down, i tell them that. they look at me like i am a crazy person. there are federal legislators
that do not realize the importance of mexico to that. i mentioned korea, it is like a country on steroids on technology. but if you look at that pacific trade agreement, it is a worldwide deal. you just can't be that restrictive. i know that it is a -- political question more than economic, but mexico gets it. we have a japanese chamber of commerce in the city of mcallen because panasonic, sony are located there because they have a trade agreement between mexico and japan. as they expand those trade agreements, there will be more pressure, more things getting shipped over from mexico instead of being manufactured here. we need to get on board. carlos: mayor martinez, what are your views, particularly as it relates to energy and all that is going on there he i go mayor martinez: -- going on there? mayor martinez: we have presidential permits in brownsville to go ahead and pipe national gas into mexico. mexico needs the energy that we
have to provide. i think the thrust of our conversation here has to be that not only does the world need to know, we have to have a better messaging from our standpoint to let everybody know what is going on and why the border is so important, but i think a good example of what i am talking about is, we just finished doing the first train rail bid from mexico to the united states in over 100 years. i have been talking to the mayor of laredo is trying to improvise and get something going. we have cut down the amount of time to cross from over three hours from moderate to brownsville by having that u.s. rail. one of the most important parts of that project is that we have an agreement with mexico that we will take their x-ray machines and use their images, and they will take ours and we will compare them.
in other words, once you have the cooperation of the two countries, this is the first that has ever happened between mexico and the united states. it is one great example of how we can coordinate our efforts, and for security and economic purposes, we can make those 2 things work together to everyone's advantage. carlos: mayor darling, you have done something similar providing funds from a gallon for infrastructure in mexico. mayor darling: the irony is that you hear cities negotiating with mexico to increase and better trade with the united states. you don't hear any state involvement in that or federal involvement. in fact, that is one of the barriers to dealing with state and federal government. the mexican federal government from the standpoint of their. we are paying money, the city of el paso, laredo, mcallen, and brownsville pay money for federal inspectors to get trade across that bridge. that does not sound right for me.
it doesn't seem that is great for economic development in the united states. that is what it does and it takes. and eventual city's own britches. to do that negotiation to make sure we enhance trade and make things cheaper in the united states for people to buy things. carlos: talking about barriers a significant barrier is xenophobia, a popular clinical -- popular political position to take in the united states at the state and federal level. hadi you combat this notion? mayor saenz: it is speaking out and people realizing what truly goes on at the border. going back to efficiency, time is money. i heard a statistic that a one minute delay at the border can cost $600 billion of lost throughout the u.s. that is huge. the key now is free clearance.
we have done it at the airport. we have an airport in laredo, one of the first in the u.s. where we have joint with cargo landing in laredo. it can land anywhere in mexico. that expedites trade. the same thing with our trains. brownsville has done that. we're mirroring that. it is a secured border height where it is pretty clear that the rail yards. the train does not have to stop in the middle of the bridge, create traffic congestion on both sides. we are trying to eliminate that, but it takes federal cooperation, which we are getting, but it takes a lot of communication. but they have done it, so we can do it as well in laredo, and hopefully the entire border can do that. it is all about expediting and making our crossings more efficient. carlos mayor lesser, it is : protected by 2020 mexico will
enter the top economies in the world. by 2050, it is projected that mexico's economy will be top five. my question to you is, do you think that the economic power of mexico and the growth potential of it will ever overshadow the fear of drug cartels and all that is happening in terms of violence in mexico? mayor leeser: first of all, i hope to be here in 2050. [laughter] carlos: are you announcing your reelection? mayor leeser: that is the important part. but as the economy grows and business continues to grow, it really is what will make the big difference in mexico and in a -- and any country. i think in 2020, i think it will make a huge difference in making sure that we continue to share
technology, learn from each other, and continue to grow. carlos: mayor villarreal, along those lines we were talking earlier, and the big popular mask for halloween in mexico is an el chapo mask. at what point can you make the economy and economic prowess more sexy than crime and violence? mayor villarreal: by government getting involved in working towards goals that benefit international trade. mayor lesser mentioned that the ability for cities to be able to pay for overtime needed to be legislated. i am very pleased, and i know congress has a reputation of being dysfunctional, and maybe it is deserving, but in this case they did something successful.
john cornyn and henry cuellar, a democrat and a republican, attended some of those meetings where they combined efforts and worked with local and state officials, and federal officials to be able to create that legislation. it was bipartisan. it was great to see. i was a part of it. i attended several meetings. to be able to see that camaraderie and understanding. it is not a red issue, or a blue issue, it is a red white and blue issue. when it comes down to business we have to focus on red, white and blue issues and make sure that the aisles find a middle ground. and the private and public partnership that was created is a good example of how important government is and how they have to step up to the plate to do more of that. carlos: the issue of self perception. is the notion that people along the border to have been ignored
-- have historically been ignored by the state and federal governments kind of view , themselves as undeserving in many respects. one example recently was announced -- one example recently, mcallen made it to the finals in terms of being a contender for a presidential debate next year, didn't quite reach it. when they ran that story in the newspaper, there was a lot of commenting from the community saying we didn't deserve it. how do you combat that stuff that exists? mayor darling: i have this feeling that success breeds success. -- mayor martinez: i have this feeling that success breeds success. you can get that momentum going. one of the things in regards to economics, whether you become a great economic power like mexico is going towards, what happens to the cartels? you have a good example in columbia.
colombia is now doing really well in the global economy. that does not mean they are all extinguished. there is still part of a country that has that trade, but you overshadow it. again, they started -- in medellin, they have a slogan that says medellin for life. it is also a play on words, if you want to have a good life you go to medellin. if you talk about the valley having a great life, you can talk about having a great life along the border, but you have to feel good about yourself. this undeserving stuff has no merit whatsoever, but that self-esteem has to be brought up to the level of saying i am were the, but not only am i worthy, i can do better. that is the whole idea. i know all these gentlemen here, and all the mayor's i know along the border had that we can be
much better than we are, and we are getting there, and we are going in a good direction. the undeserving stuff i am sorry , some of the folks feel that way, but that is probably not the reason you did not get a presidential debate going in mcallen. there are a lot of different factors. we have to be cognizant of all that. there are a lot of economic factors and things we have to take into perception as to our voting abilities. do we go out to the polls? those other things we have to work on as well as messaging. , that is our challenge, to go out into the world and say, yes, not only are we deserving. we are really good. we are the capital -- the chess game is a great example. brownsville is the capital of chess. it is going everywhere. there is a movie out there
called the "endgame" that only shows you a little bit of what it takes to succeed. carlos: mayor darling, is self-esteem also commented at the state and federal level? mayor darling: first of all, if we ever have a football game north of dallas, we will probably get more self-esteem, but we can do that. [laughter] carlos: should we demand a seat at the table? mayor darling: absolutely. we are the seventh largest county in the state of texas. people don't know that. combined, we are the fifth largest population in the state of texas. we are important economically. we have the biggest agricultural production in the state of texas. mexico is even greater. it feeds a lot of the united states. i think it is right that we demand -- and i talked to my counterparts in the mexican consulate office, they have the same problems in mexico city with the border. i don't know why, we are at the end of the line, i guess, in
those countries. txdot maps and at the texas border. end at the texas border. you need to understand that the border does not end at the river. and you need to understand that we need help for mexico to go into the state of texas. only go out there, we go out with our hand like this. we are important, and we need you to pay attention to us. carlos: mayor leeser, 20 years ago el paso made a name for itself by convening the court of inquiry. demanding to know why state services were not up to par along the borders. is something like that necessary at this point? mayor leeser: i don't think it is necessary. it is one of the things that we will continue to monitor, but i
-- we will continue to monitor but i would not see that it is , necessary at this point. carlos: so you're not going to help us all pay for it? [laughter] mayor leeser: the court of inquiry is like the star chamber. i think we have done that once in cameron county as well. it does sell a lot of papers, by the way. carlos: at this point i would like to take questions for the -- questions from the audience. there are two microphones up there. please avoid the temptation to give speeches. go ahead, sir. >> i grew up in laredo. along the border, corruption is a fact. do you believe that corruption is trending up or down in both municipal, county, state, and federal governments, and do you have budget allocations to combat that, or is that the state and federal government?
mayor darling: one of the things you need to realize is large amount of money causes corruption. you have to look at the attorney general's office in the state of texas. a large amount of money causes corruption. we have a large amount of money in drug transactions coming to a neighborhood near you. that is all i can tell you. if you have a large amount of money, you are going to have corruption. we get unjustly accused of corruption in the valley. we had corruption, our last two out of three sheriffs were in jail but that is because of things that were influenced because of that, but i don't think we have any more than any other country. mayor martinez: jim is right in the sense that is widespread but that does not mean we do not need to address it. is it on the upward spiral? i don't think so. you will see, at this point, we are all acutely aware of that and very sensitive to it.
when something comes across our table, i know -- i truly call out on the texas rangers and fbi and say, i want you to come down here and take a look at the situation. until we completely eliminate it and we will never completely eliminate it but until we address it, it will never stop. it is a thing that needs to be talked about. i don't think we can just sweep it under the carpet. >> hi, i started college in 2008. i have a lot of friends from the valley. they have a stigma against it. a lot of people that i know came to austin from brownsville mcallen, they say, i don't want to go back. what are you doing to incentivize people who have degrees to go back to the valley? >> i graduated utpa.
i am very proud of that fact. anything you see me say or respond to is because of my education at that facility. i want to say that the trend sometimes is that negativity has existed in this world forever. we have a platform on social media, and social media has made this bubble up to the top. from my standpoint, i'm very proud and i encourage young people -- do not look at, i don't want to go back to the valley or i want to go back to austin go to where the , opportunity is. if you are an engineer and you want to be hired, go find that opportunity, but don't believe everything you read, every thing you hear, and definitely don't believe everything that you hear that is negative on facebook or
twitter, a cousin conversations i have had with young people has been challenging the system and not as much doubting the system, so i will take that at face value whether young people are getting that on social media. >> we heard some statistics come out from the census bureau that said that there are many people who earn more than $100,000 in -- more than austin, i want to point out. we are number three in the country. i think that is a reflection of the university, health care growing in our area. there are a lot of opportunities. >> like every other mayor, our goal is economic development job creation, healthy living and of course, quality of life. in laredo, we are moving along those lines. mayor leeser: it is important that we work with those universities. it is important that we go to el paso and we work with those communities and figure out what type of workforce we are looking
for, engineers, doctors, any -- anything that we are looking for it will help us. companies go to el paso and it is very important that the youth is supported in our community because the youth is our future. we have been working very hard with our colleges. we even start in your high school and grade level to see what will come to el paso so we can have that kind of graduate. >> you speak the truth, there is a lot of that particular prevailing attitude. i think what you are seeing is a whole lot of change, with the university, with space x, with a lot of different jobs opportunities. i would like to invite your friends are talking like that give us a chance to see what we , have, because in my part of the world, i am an avid cyclist, so bike and hike trails, quality
of life, things like that. the things we have to offer are a lot different than my generation. i came back to the valley because i love the valley. a lot of my friends did not and now live in houston or austin. i invite them to come back. things are different. >> go ahead, ma'am. >> part of the reason why i came to the united states was the shootouts that happened between the military and drug cartels in mexico. how do you feel about mexico's policy of putting the military on the streets? has it affected your policy, and how? >> it is very secure. they have a challenge to try to
change what happens. you can not anticipate their local police force will be able to survive and take care of their families when you don't pay them adequately. one thing that is going on, you are bringing insecure people who are being paid well. their families are being taking care of. have good schools. public health providers. that is what they need to strive for. i would rather have someone secure that i trust, rather than someone i do not trust. >> anyone else? >> i just want to add once upon a time that mexico did not have cartel problems. there was a time when mexico tourists would flock into these texas counties and this was a big part of our industries, so we are fighting that change, and now mexico is struggling. a lot of those that are hispanic have that sensitivity to wanting mexico to be successful.
as far as a border town, they are next to the border and then they are along the border, and all of us are next to the border, pretty much, so i can tell you that we are safe and that we can say that with confidence. i keep on saying that they law enforcement, first responders, that others who respond -- that they keep us a safe as possible. >> what is the root cause? what caused that turmoil? it goes down to the rule of law rule enforcement, morals values, family values. sometime back i spoke to a general, and said what is it going to take? five years or 10 years of the so-called militarization by the border on the mexican side. he said it might take a generation.
now that we see the horribleness of the situation, maybe parents will be more how the visit and intent of of their kids, building the values that we grew up with along the border. it is something we can all learn from. we must be mindful. it all boils down to the family unit. >> we need to understand the problem and have a long-term solution. it isn't what can we do today? today might be different than tomorrow. understanding that the problem is important, and how do we sustain and have a long-term solution? that is important. >> i am from brownsville texas. a lot of the border is safe border towns are safe.
it is something that they mentioned with communication and negativity. this is the stigma that border towns have in general. how do you bring high-tech programs to the valley so we continue to have students stay and work? seeing that there is a negative stigma, but in reality it is not how it is per trade? >> we started at an incubator for people and high-tech areas that want to allow that. everyone started in garages. more tech companies have started in garages than rock bands. we give access to computers, national markets and we are growing our own. it is a little easier -- dell is not the -- another interested in coming to mcallen,
but we can grow our own. >> one of the things that we have done, and i've talked about how the mayor of juarez have come together to talk about companies that have already established themselves and then we invite them and their suppliers to come to el paso. we had a tour developed and we have had over 90 different people come to el paso to show them. our big partner has 35,000 troops and colleges. we can take pictures and send them videos, but through the private sector, it did not cost the taxpayers a dime. 100% has been funded either private sector, they have funded 100% of bringing these companies and individuals to look at el paso. at-- after they leave, they
would say that el paso is on their radar based on what they have seen. >> i would like the group to really reach out to the new university. what i think that everyone is doing, all the way from rio grande city, not so much of the radel and el paso, but from rio grande city to el paso, they want to meet you guys. they want to be with you guys. space x is a good example. you have a lot of interest from one martinez who is with the group -- from juan martinez who has been hired with the astrophysicists'group. they are saying it is here. it is our turn. that is good. >> the city does have
incentives. we have 1700 acres we can provide to a company that will provide good paying jobs for laredo. we can work with industries and job creating companies. keep that in mind when you are thinking about the border. >> education and not just education for the college, but community colleges that offer opportunities. find the void in the job market and make sure there is a job. there are vocational trainings that can provide wonderful livings and opportunities. putting it in your court, young people have to vote. when i hear young people over and over -- my vote does not matter. it matters. ask any of the elected or former elected officials, it matters a lot. if you vote as a group, your voice will be heard and you will shape the future.
you will shape the future of government, and that is hugely important. carlos: one final question. >> mine is about the impact around laredo, and the prospect of them remaining lower. >> it has slowed down somewhat. we are diversifying and are more into trade, logistics, and warehousing. we are a trade taliban. -- we are a trade town. it is a good-sized city now. just a few miles on the south bend, that is opening. that will create lots of trade activity. who else but us that i've had
experience with oil and gas production? we have the expertise and the staging ground. there is a lot of potential at the border. oil land gas, a we have been involved in oil and gas transactions for 30 years. it is cyclical. it is down now, but it will,. >> there was a pipeline that was created from george wood, texas to mexico city that ran through starr county. i know you hear about the keystone pipeline, we have a version of that in texas already that went through starr county. it is feeding mexico. we have to support the energy industry. that we encourage it in positive ways to protect the environment. that is an example of how international energy can be. i saw the pipeline go from texas, i don't know how many
miles it is, but it is a long way all the way to mexico city. that would be a plus for the energy industry. carlos: that concludes our panel. there is a selection of austin food trucks to share lunch under the tower. please join me in thanking the panel, everybody. [applause] >> on c-span, "washington journal" is next. then a look at campaign 2016 with jeff kaufman and and and maguire. our guests on newsmakers. next, some of the disrupt conference in san francisco with tech company ceos. on today's washington journal the american enterprise and's to two talks about u.s. efforts to
fight the internet. then the national resources defense council gives us a preview of the climate change summit in paris. ♪ host: in a piece in the "washington post" this morning mitch mcconnell spoke out against president obama's clean power plan, saying it would cut jobs and raise energy costs. the president's plan was put in place in a lead up to the paris climate talks, which began tomorrow. about 200 countries meeting in paris. with black friday behind us shoppers now turn to what is known as cyber monday. there are concerns for internet scams