McCain Immigration Shift? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
McCain Immigration Shift?

Under fire from conservatives for his co-sponsorship with Ted Kennedy of legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who learn English and pay penalties, McCain is in the process of adjusting his stance, the NY Times reports:

As he left Iowa, Mr. McCain said he was reconsidering his views on how the immigration law might be changed. He said he was open to legislation that would require people who came to the United States illegally to return home before applying for citizenship, a measure proposed by Representative Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana. Mr. McCain has previously favored legislation that would allow most illegal immigrants to become citizens without leaving the country….

Mr. McCain, for example, appeared to distance himself from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat with whom he formed an alliance last year on an immigration bill that stalled in Congress.

“What I’ve tried to point out is we couldn’t pass the legislation,” Mr. McCain said. “So we have to change the legislation so it can pass. And I’ve been working with Senator Kennedy, but we’ve also been working with additional senators, additional House members.”

The Pence plan was savaged by most immigration hawks, so I’m not sure that a shift to that position would improve his standing among that crowd. With that said, those who vote primarily on immigration will probably cast their votes for Tancredo, Hunter, or Paul, meaning that McCain’s shifting position is more likely aimed at making conservatives who care about immigration, but not primarily, more comfortable with his candidacy.

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