Could a Post-Primary McCain Support Immigration Reform?

By
Friday, August 20, 2010 at 9:15 am

Sen. John McCain was once one of the major Republican supporters of immigration reform, arguing for comprehensive legislation as recently as 2008. Faced with accusations of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, McCain has moved to a much tougher immigration stance during his Republican primary.

But after the primary vote next Tuesday, will the old McCain come back?

The winner of the GOP primary in Arizona is likely to have a straight shot to the Senate seat, NPR reported yesterday. But first McCain must beat opponent J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman who has attacked McCain for his previous support of immigration reform.

McCain now focuses almost exclusively on border security measures, writing a 10-point border security plan with fellow Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl he said he will continue to push when the Senate returns from recess.

Simple political necessity explains McCain’s shift rightward during the primary, experts told NPR:

“In fairness to the senator,” says longtime Arizona pollster and political analyst Bruce Merrill, “one can look at it two ways. You can question his values and ethics, and say he’s pandering to the right. Or you can look at it as simply understanding the game you have to play to get elected.” Merrill, of Arizona State University, was the pollster for McCain’s 1982 House campaign.

Arizona’s Senate seat will probably go to a Republican; the Democratic candidates have a lower profile and fewer registered voters. This means that McCain could relax some of his campaign-mode messages on immigration.

That’s certainly what Democrats hope will happen. Democrats can’t pass immigration legislation — even the less controversial DREAM Act — without Republican support. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), at least, seems to think there is a possibility of McCain shifting back to the center after his primary: “I think once we get past the Arizona GOP primary that sparked the recent anti-immigration reform eruption, we will have a chance of getting some of the Republicans in the Senate to also come forward and work with Democrats to get a bill passed,” Gutierrez said in July.

If McCain does return to more moderate views on immigration, the path of fellow Republican Meg Whitman could serve as an example. Though she has a less complicated past on immigration, Whitman, who is running for California governor, shifted from claiming to be “tough as nails” on immigration during her primary to splitting with her party on Arizona’s immigration law. Part of her shift could be a play for Latino voters — Whitman began running Spanish-language ads and other outreach to Latinos after her primary.

McCain could do the same — Latinos make up about 30 percent of Arizona’s population. But Whitman also shows some of the pitfalls to shifting viewpoints on immigration: some members of the GOP are concerned she is not conservative enough, the Los Angeles Times reported today:

“I wish she would keep her promises that she made in the primary,” said Celeste H. Greig, president of the California Republican Assembly, a conservative faction that endorsed Whitman’s and Fiorina’s rivals in the primary campaign.

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54 Comments

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[...] by on August 20, 2010 Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box John McCain was once one of the major Republican supporters of immigration reform, arguing for comprehensive legislation as recently as 2008. Faced with accusations of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, McCain has moved to a … Read more here:  Could a Post-Primary McCain Support Immigration Reform? « The … [...]


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__guest__
Comment posted August 20, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

Worse than John McCain's immigration stance would be for him to completely change it days after the election. That would take the “spin your message to win the election” way too far. 'Elect me and I'll do X', and then to go on to do -X is quite a slap in the face to those who elected him.


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The Green Novice 2010-08-12 00:18:54…

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Xeno4136
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 10:56 am

can he take a hint. he lost the presidency twice!!


Bonato
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

I think, the latino voter will turn the back to him…..probaly he will lose hes senate chair this year.


Guest
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

Immigration reform with a path to citizenship is a “must-have” bill now.

14 million new citizens will buy 14 million houses, cars, washing machines, TVs, sofas, etc.

14 million new citizens will keep the money in US and help end this recession.


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HispUSCtzn
Comment posted August 21, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

Respectfully, we need exactly the opposite sir, simple work permits unrelated to the path to citizenship. This simple solution would legalize those good immigrants now gainfully employed, allowing the economy to grow as you suggest, while helping to identify those that deserve deportation. US Citizenship should be reserved only for those truly deserving to become US citizens, not given away as a free side benefit to any foreigner wishing to work outside his/her country of origin.


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Cherokee Nation
Comment posted August 22, 2010 @ 1:43 am

You mean, US citizenship should only be available to white Europeans who came to the Sioux nation, Cherokee nation, Navajo nation in the 17th and 18th century without valid passports or valid immigrant visas.

Any white person who can show legal entry documents from any Native American nation can stay.


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Gorio
Comment posted August 23, 2010 @ 1:20 am

There is a saying that goes something like “you cannot change a tigers stripes or a leopards spots…” and in this case, “you cannot change the RINO's horn.” He may have cut the horn off for now, but it will grow back if elected, then he will side with those on the side of drug lords and mexican government, against the citizens of the USA, AZ for example, and the state rights to protect themselves with law that mimics FED LAW.

Mandatory HEAVY fines and shut down businesses that do not comply… the hiring of illegal aliens. Secure the borders. Once all that has been completed, then work permits for those industries, AG, that need to temporarily hire.

ID CARDS FOR ALL. Who drives a car without license? When a policeman stops you, he asks for identification. Why the outrage over asking for ID of someone pulled over for a crime? Then if they are in the country legally?

I am sympathetic to those who have lived and worked in the USA for many years and given birth to illegal alien babies. I dispute the ammendment that states they are citizens… no one ever intended for illegals, who covertly came into the USA… to have citizenship. Akin to granting a thief family status when found in your home stealing your food, money, etc…


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Cherokee Nation
Comment posted August 24, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

“granting a thief family status when found in your home stealing your food, money”

Like the white Europeans who stole Native American land. Like the white Europeans who showed up without passports or legal entry visas from the Cherokee nation or any other Native American nation.

All white people must leave North America. Return to their country of origin and then apply to the Cherokee nation for legal entry into the North America.

If you are white and claim to have legal immigration papers from a Native American nation, then you are a Liar.

If you are white and you are in North America, You Are The Illegal Immigrant.

The world is no longer going to serve the white race. North America does not belong to the white race.


Lady Liberty
Comment posted August 24, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

- The Statue of Liberty


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