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July 29, 2008

AILA's analysis of '08 Presidential Candidate John McCain and his position on immigration-related issues

Here are John McCain on immigration issues;

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07121860 (posted Jul. 23, 2008)"

Party: Republican
Political Office: U.S. Senator from Arizona, elected 1986; reelected 1992, 1998, 2004; U.S. Representative from AZ, 1983-1987
Military Service: Pilot, U.S. Navy 1958-1981, retiring as captain; POW in Vietnam, 1967-1973
Education: B.S., United States Naval Academy, 1958; grad., the National War College, 1974
Spouse: married (2d) Cindy Hensley, 1980
Children: adopted sons Douglas and Andrew of first wife, Carol (m. 1965; div. 1980); daughter Sidney (with wife Carol), born 1980; daughters Meghan and Bridget (born and adopted, 1991); sons John IV and James
Religion: Episcopalian
Home: Phoenix, AZ

Official Campaign Site

McCain on Immigration

CFR on McCain

McCain's Recent Comments/Statements on Immigration

"I think some of the rhetoric that many Hispanics hear about illegal immigration makes some of them believe that we are not in favor of or seek the support of Hispanic citizens in this country." ~ on the attitude towards immigrants in this country from the Spanish Language Republican Debate in December

"You know, this whole debate saddens me a little bit because we do have a serious situation in America. In 1986, we passed a law that said we would enforce our borders, and gave amnesty to a couple of million people. We gave the amnesty. Now we have 12 million people and still borders that are not enforced. I came to the Senate not to do the easy things, but to do the hard things. Mel Martinez and I knew this was going to be a tough issue, but we thought the status quo was unacceptable: broken borders; 12 million people here illegally; a need for a temporary worker program, certainly in my state in the agricultural section, certainly in this state of Florida.

And we tried to get something done. We said we'd enforce the borders. The American people didn't believe us. They don't believe us because of our failure in Katrina, our failure in Iraq, our failures in reining in corruption and out of control spending. So we tried and we failed. And I appreciate the president's efforts. He comes from a border state too. And what we've learned is that the American people want the borders enforced. We must enforce the -- secure the borders first.

But then you've still got two other aspects of this issue that have to be resolved as well. And we need to sit down as Americans and recognize these are God's children as well. And they need some protection under the law. And they need some of our love and compassion." ~ on CIR

“We will secure the borders first. As president, I will have the border state governors certify that those borders are secure. And, of course, in the course of our debates and discussions and -- with Secretary Chertoff, he said that there's 2 million people who are in this country illegally who have committed crimes. Those people have to be deported immediately.

And I do believe we need a temporary worker program. One with an employee -- employment -- electronic employment verification system and tamper-proof biometric documents, so that the only document and that system (inaudible) can an employer legally hire somebody, and any employer who employs someone in any other way will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Now, I want to say again, this is a national security issue. We have to secure our borders. But I want to say again, these are God's children. We have to address it in as humane and compassionate an issue as possible. But we have to respect our nation's security requirements.”

~ on if he has the same plan for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that he held a few months ago – from the Jan. 5 Republican Debate in New Hampshire

“I know how to secure the borders. I come from a border state where our borders are broken. More people come across our border illegally every year than most any other state. And I will secure the borders first. And I will have the border states governors certify that those borders are secured. And we can do it with UAVs, with vehicle barriers, with walls, and with high-tech cameras.

The remaining 12 million, obviously two million of them who have committed crimes have to be rounded up and deported immediately. They cannot stay in our society. And we must then, in my view, address it in as humane and compassionate way as possible.

The three G.I.s who were missing last year in action, one of them was still missing in action, his wife was about to be deported from this country. I'm not going to deport the wife of a fighting serviceman who's missing in action. I'm going to handle it in a humane, compassionate fashion.

And we will reward no one. They will have to get to the end of the line, pay a fine, learn English, and we will secure the borders first. And I know how to do that.” ~ on how to deal with the undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. – from the Jan.10 Republican Debate in South Carolina

“No, it would not, because we know what the situation is today. The people want the border secured first. And so to say that that would come to the floor of the Senate -- it won't. We went through various amendments which prevented that proposal.

But, look, we're all in agreement as to what we need to do. We will secure the borders first when I am president of the United States. I know how to do that. I come from a border state, where we know about building walls, and vehicle barriers, and sensors, and all of the things necessary. I will have the border state governors certify the borders are secured. And then we will move onto the other aspects of this issue, probably as importantly as tamper-proof biometric documents, which then, unless an employer hires someone with those documents, that employer will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And that will cause a lot of people to leave voluntarily.

There's 2 million people who are here who have committed crimes. They have to be rounded up and deported.

And we're all basically in agreement there are humanitarian situations. It varies with how long they've been here, et cetera, et cetera. We are all committed to carrying out the mandate of the American people, which is a national security issue, which is securing the borders. That was part of the original proposal, but the American people didn't trust or have confidence in us that we would do it. So we now know we have to secure the borders first, and that is what needs to be done. That's what I'll do as president of the United States.” ~ on whether or not he would vote today for the CIR bill he co-sponsored - from the Jan. 30 Republican Debate in California

"I spoke recently at both the NALEO and LULAC conferences, as did Senator Obama. I did not use those occasions to criticize Senator Obama. I would prefer not to do so today. But he suggested in his speeches there and here, that I turned my back on comprehensive reform out of political necessity. I feel I must, as they say, correct the record. At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform, and fought for its passage. I cast a lot of hard votes, as did the other Republicans and Democrats who joined our bipartisan effort. So did Senator Kennedy. I took my lumps for it without complaint. My campaign was written off as a lost cause. I did so not just because I believed it was the right thing to do for Hispanic Americans. It was the right thing to do for all Americans. Senator Obama declined to cast some of those tough votes. He voted for and even sponsored amendments that were intended to kill the legislation, amendments that Senator Kennedy and I voted against. I never ask for any special privileges from anyone just for having done the right thing. Doing my duty to my country is its own reward. But I do ask for your trust that when I say, I remain committed to fair, practical and comprehensive immigration reform, I mean it. I think I have earned that trust." ~ from Sen. McCain's July 14th speech before the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), See the full text of the speech.

"When you take the solemn stroll along that wall of black granite on the national Mall, it is hard not to notice the many names such as Rodriguez, Hernandez, and Lopez that so sadly adorn it. When you visit Iraq and Afghanistan you will meet some of the thousands of Hispanic-Americans who serve there, and many of those who risk their lives to protect the rest of us do not yet possess the rights and privileges of full citizenship in the country they love so well. To love your country, as I discovered in Vietnam, is to love your countrymen. Those men and women are my brothers and sisters, my fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. As a private citizen or as your President, I will never, never do anything to dishonor our obligations to them and their families or to forget what they and their ancestors have done to make this country the beautiful, bountiful, blessed place we love." ~ from Sen. McCain's July 8th speech before the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), See the full text of the speech.

"I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders; ensure respect for the laws of this country; recognize the important economic necessity of immigrant laborers; apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes; and deal practically and humanely with those who came here, as my distant ancestors did, to build a better, safer life for their families, without excusing the fact they came here illegally or granting them privileges before those who did. Many Americans, with good cause, did not believe us when we said we would secure our borders, and so we failed in our efforts. We must prove to them that we can and will secure our borders first, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. But we must not make the mistake of thinking that our responsibility to meet this challenge will end with that accomplish ment. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them. ~ from Sen. McCain's June 28th speech before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), See the full text of the speech.

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Posted by VisaLawyer at July 29, 2008 09:47 AM

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