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Updated Apr 4, 2013 - 12:31 pm

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.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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