Arizona senator holds his ground in meetings on illegal immigration
The old John McCain is back — at least on the issue of illegal immigration.
The feisty U.S. senator from Arizona stood his ground on comprehensive immigration reform at town halls in the state even though he faced angry constituents opposed to the idea.
For McCain it was a return to positions we used to hear from him a number of years back when he tended to take a more moderate stance on this issue.
In recent years, particularly since he ran for re-election in 2010, he has taken a harder position on border security, once saying “just build the dang fence” in reference to a barrier along the border with Mexico.
Now he is one of eight key senators working for a bipartisan approach in Congress on illegal immigration that includes not only enforcement but also humane ways to deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already in this country, including a pathway to legal status.
It was predictable he would get an angry greeting from some Arizonans when he returned to the state, and it should not have surprised him. Our state, after all, has passed some of the toughest laws against illegal immigrants in the nation.
But even he seemed taken aback by the suggestions he faced, including putting the military on the border, keeping immigrants out with guns and sending all illegal residents home without exception.
He in effect said these ideas were idiotic and called for Christian compassion instead of angry retribution against illegal immigrants and their families.
As a senator from a state where there is such hostility to moderation on this issue, it is courageous of him to be a leading Republican seeking comprehensive immigration reform. It is the McCain of old that we remember.
Welcome home, senator.