Tuesday, July 29, 2008

McCain And The Border

It's challenging to figure out where John McCain stands on almost any issue, no more so than illegal immigration. Though the co-sponsor (with Ted Kennedy) in 2005 of "comprehensive immigration reform," the Arizona Senator later stated that he would vote against his own bill if it again came up for a vote in the Senate. though it is extremely unlikely the indentical bill ever would be re-introduced.

Speaking in San Diego before the National Council of La Raza on July 14, 2008, McCain responded to a question by proposing "one single, comprehensive bill -- but first we have to assure the American people that the borders are secure," then adding that if politicians fail to do that, "then we don't pass the legislation."

At first glance, this should assure opponents of illegal immigration. But at second glance, this is the same fellow who, in statements consistent with that before La Raza, said the following:

"And we're not going to erect barriers and fences." (Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire, June 5, 2007)

"I commit to securing the borders first. We can secure those borders. As president, I would have the border state governors certify that those borders were indeed secure." (September 5, 2007 at University of New Hampshire)

Senator McCain may simply be trying to confuse the electorate about illegal immigration. More likely, however, he has decided that as President, he will entice governors of border states to sign a statement "certifying" that the borders are secure (thus "assuring the American people that the borders are secure"), then proceed to try to implement a guest worker program and probably a path to citizenship for individuals already here illegally.

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