McCain on Immigration Reform: Wall May Not Be ‘Effective,’ Value ‘Immigrants … Contributions to Our Economy and Culture’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) penned an op-ed last week with a headline that called for Congress to embrace the “regular order” budget procedures when it returns to Washington.

But McCain took the opportunity to weigh in on immigration ahead of an expected announcement by President Donald Trump on Tuesday that he is ending DACA, the Obama-era amnesty program that has protected as many as 850,000 young illegal aliens who were brought to the United States as children from deportation.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) also gives these illegal aliens work permits.

McCain did not mention the legal status of immigrants — although Congress is not expected to tackle the problems with the nation’s legal immigration system — but instead praised them as good for America.

“Let’s also try that approach on immigration,” McCain wrote in the Washington Post, referring to the regular order of passing a budget rather than an “omnibus” bill cobbled together as the deadline for a government shutdown approaches.

“The president has promised greater border security,” McCain said. “We can agree to that.”

“A literal wall might not be the most effective means to that end, but we can provide the resources necessary to secure the border with smart and affordable measures,” McCain wrote.

“Let’s make it part of a comprehensive bill that members of both parties can get behind — one that values our security as well as the humanity of immigrants and their contributions to our economy and culture,” McCain wrote.

McCain also weighed in on the deadly protest in Charlottesville where white nationalists clashed with Antifa protesters resulting in the death of a 32-year-old woman and two members of the law enforcement community.

“Most of us share Heather Heyer’s values, not the depravity of the man who took her life,” McCain said. “We are the country that led the free world to victory over fascism and dispatched communism to the ash heap of history.”

McCain also slammed President Donald Trump in the commentary, saying Congress answers to the American people not the president and that lawmakers need “to serve as a check on his power.”

McCain said governing “relies on compromise between opposing sides to protect the interests we share. We can fight like hell for our ideas to prevail. But we have to respect each other or at least respect the fact that we need each other.”

“That has never been truer than today, when Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.”

“We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation.”

McCain, who is battling brain cancer, is expected to be in the Senate when Congress reconvenes.


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