McCain refuses to drop immigrant slur: ‘I’ll continue to call it illegal’

By David Edwards
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:58 EDT
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John McCain speaks to KTVK
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Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Monday vowed to continue to use the slur “illegal” to refer to undocumented immigrants.

At a town hall meeting in Phoenix, a 25-year-old dreamer asked the former Republican presidential nominee to “please drop the i-word,” according to The Arizona Republic.

“Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally,” McCain replied. “You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented.”

“I’ll continue to call it illegal,” he insisted.

The senior Arizona senator is member of a Gang of Eight senators who are working on comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to “earned citizenship.”

“Now, I don’t know if we can achieve agreement or not,” McCain explained. “We’ve been working literally night and day. And we may not succeed. But the other members of this negotiating team, I believe, are negotiating in good faith. We’ve made progress in a number of areas that I am encouraged by, but there are still areas that we are not in agreement.”

The activist group Colorlines in 2011 began a campaign to “Drop the I-Word” because they said it “opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration.”

Watch this video from KPNX, broadcast March 25, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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