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Phoenix-area mayors meet with nation’s drug czar

PHOENIX — Metro Phoenix mayors met with the White House’s top drug-control enforcer, Gil Kerlikowske, Thursday for an update on

Kerlikowske, U.S. drug policy director, said headway has been made along the border and that more drugs, money and guns are being seized.

“That’s critical in cutting off the head of the snake, which is the Mexican drug cartels,” he said.

Drugs took center stage in the roundtable but other issues were discussed including border security and how comprehensive immigration reform is critical to the economies of Arizona and Mexico.

“Whenever anybody tells you that there is a quick and easy answer to a complex problem, they’re usually wrong,” Kerlikowske said. “It’s critical that we fix the immigration system so law enforcement can protect the people within their jurisdiction and create the pathway to reform. Common sense changes that are desperately needed.”

Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers heads up the League of Cities and said whether someone is in her city or Mesa or other Arizona communities, they’re are all border cities.

“We need to see the border as a gateway to our economic vitality and putting away the fear is critical to this state and the nation,” she said.