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McCain, Flake, Gosar hold Yuma town hall
U.S. Sen. John McCain and Reps. Jeff Flake and Paul Gosar spoke of many issues — including immigration, the Affordable Care Act and job growth — during a Yuma town hall meeting Wednesday.
“There are 12 million people in this country illegally,” McCain said. “We should have comprehensive immigration reform.”
Flake believes President Obama's plans to stop certain deportations and instead grant work permits to as many as 800,000 younger illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16 is just a “temporary fix that doesn't solve the problem” of illegal immigration “for the long run.”
“I can tell you all of us that have worked on … immigration reform over the years have come to the realization that until we get better border security … nobody is going to trust the federal government to move ahead on the broader issues that need to be done.”
In addition to securing the border, the federal government needs to focus on creating an agricultural jobs program and a high-tech jobs program, promoting the use of E-Verify and creating penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, McCain noted in response to a question from an audience member.
When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, McCain calls for the repeal of the law.
“There is a number of provisions I think we could keep. But fundamentally we can't keep it because it is driving health care costs up and it is depriving people of the ability to make choices.”
Gosar believes the government needs to focus on getting rid of health insurance monopolies to “make sure there is open competition,” he said in response to an audience question about what could be done to improve the situation.
Flake spoke of the importance of nurturing the growth of jobs.
“You are feeling it here in Yuma with high unemployment — over 30 percent, I understand,” he said.
“That is one of the highest around for any city of this size. We've got that prospect and we've got to grow jobs, and you can't do that when you have such uncertainty on taxes and such certainty on regulation that is coming from the federal government.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.