April 25th, 2010
10:14 PM ET

The real threat to Arizona

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Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

So much has been discussed over the past week about whether or not the illegal immigration law is right or wrong. One thing that is not up for debate: the bill signed on Friday by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is the toughest in our country dealing with illegal immigration.

I'm not going to say whether I agree or disagree with the bill, but I wanted to share some of my own experiences in Arizona as a journalist covering so many of the issues in the state.

I worked in Arizona for two years starting in 2002. I helped run an investigative unit for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix and we had a great group of people working together. Four of us in the unit grew up on or close to the border, so we all shared our love of Mexico and have a very strong understanding of many of the problems the criminal activity poses on the United States.

I spent many of my weekends going across the border covering illegal immigration, the sex and drug trade, killers hiding in Mexico and human smuggling. I also spent equal amounts of time covering the very same
issues on the Arizona side of the border.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Immigration • Ismael Estrada
April 25th, 2010
09:27 AM ET
April 25th, 2010
07:42 AM ET

Dear President Obama #461: Our fellow passenger

Reporter's Note: At one point early in the presidential campaign, everyone thought the decisive factor would be the wars. Turned out, it was the economy. But the wars go on, and that’s the subject of my letter for this Sunday.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Something moving happened as I flew from Atlanta to Baltimore this weekend, and I want to tell you about it. The plane was packed, as they often are, and many of us on board were not necessarily thrilled about that. Without doubt we were all eager to get home, or get away from home, or just get to where we were going for the weekend.

But as we crowded on board and shoved our overstuffed bags into the overheads and under the seats, many of us noticed a flutter of color outside the windows on one side of the plane. When we leaned over and looked closer, we saw that they were military flags and that some troops in full dress uniforms were with them.

Sure enough, as the boarding continued, the captain of the flight crew came on to announce to the jammed airplane, that we were to have the sad honor of taking one of our fallen troops back with us to the Capitol region. I did not catch the young man’s name, and I’m not even sure of his branch of service. I don’t know where or how he died. All I know is that the captain asked everyone to please be still while the honor guard came on board and took their seats, and for all of us to wait until they had deplaned when we landed. He also said that the young man’s parents and brother would be with us too.