Senator McCain defends Immigration Reform at Town Hall Meetings

Senator John McCain held two town hall meetings in his home state of Arizona on Tuesday (2/19/13) to defend the bipartisan immigration reform proposal, “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform“. After some heated comments on both sides, which you can view on the video I posted below, the two main subjects that worried this gathering emerged, “Border Security” and a “Path to Citizenship”.

On the subject of Border Security, Senator McCain stated that immigration reform should be contingent on better border security that must rely largely on technology to detect border crossings. Some wanted to know about the border fence that the federal government has been building along the Mexico border. Senator McCain stated that we have already spent 60 million dollars building it. The border fence is an important subject in Arizona, mainly because about a third of all illegal crossings take place in the state.

Another primary concern of the meeting was the “Path to Citizenship” for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. One suggested they should all become guest workers but not citizens! Another suggested they all be sent back, deported to their own country. John McCain felt that this was not the way to deal with the problem. “There are 11 million people living here illegally,” he said. “We are not going to get enough buses to deport them.” McCain said a tamper-proof Social Security card would help combat identity fraud, and noted any path to citizenship must require immigrants to learn English, cover back taxes and pay fines for breaking immigration laws.

McCain said, “We believe that there is a good, strong possibility that we can come up with a plan that most Americans would support.”

View the links below for more detail on the subject:

CNN Politics (2/19/13) includes video:
McCain fields fiery immigration questions at town hall

AP.org (2/19/13):
McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents

NPR.org (2/20/13):
Sen. John McCain Faces Angry Town Hall Over Immigration Platform

Huffingtonpost.com, The Blog (2/21/13):
Reading the Pictures: The Border Fence: Still Everybody’s Dog Whistle