Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Tuesday that the Senate should include an amendment for increased border security in its new bipartisan immigration reform bill. In video featured by Talking Points Memo, McCain said that the amendment, proposed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) would make the border between Mexico and the U.S. into “most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
McCain said of the amendment, which passed Monday, to CNN, “I think that, first of all, the legislation concerning beefed up border security removes any validity to the argument that border security is not sufficient. I mean, this is not only sufficient, it is well over sufficient. We’ll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall so that’s why I think this amendment was very important.”
In fact, rates of undocumented immigration from Mexico to the U.S. have fallen steeply in recent years reaching a net of zero just over one year ago. Currently the rate of unemployment in Mexico is at 4.9 percent for May of 2013, whereas the U.S. unemployment rate is currently at for May was 7.6 percent.
McCain has sparred with tea party favorites like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on immigration and other topics. McCain survived a primary challenge from the far right in 2010 only to be lambasted in the Senate as too moderate.
The former presidential candidate said that Congress must take some action on behalf of the immigrants already in the country and stranded in citizenship limbo.
“Are we going to let a de facto amnesty of 11 million people living in the shadows in this country or are we going to see a path forward? And that path forward is clearly one that gives people a legal status but then a long, tough, hard road to citizenship,” he said to CNN. “I mean 10, 13 years, longer than that, pay fines, pay back taxes, learn English, get in line behind everyone else. So, this is a border security measure which I think should suffice to satisfy any critic and it is a way forward — a tough way forward — so that we can resolve this and bring 11 million people out of the shadows.”
A website called SenatorFlake.com has launched a recall campaign against McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
“Senator Jeff Flake is not representing Arizona voters, conservatives, or American citizens, even though he is our employee and ran under the Republican ticket,” reads the website. “Jeff Flake is voting as if he were employed by foreign nationals who have invaded the USA, aka illegal aliens, rather than his Arizona constituents. Jeff is showing us his true colors- he is as blue as they come, a RINO, a Liberal Democrat in everything but official party designation.”
The site has links to sign petitions to recall Flake and McCain and a page called “Senators Debate Themselves” dedicated to the senators’ self-contradictory remarks on immigration reform. Parts of the website appear to still be under construction.
Watch the video, embedded below via TPM:
[image via Flickr user Neon Tommy’s photostream, Creative Commons licensed]