Migrant issue could haunt McCain in race

by Dan Nowicki
The Arizona Republic
January 6, 2010

Two years ago, a push for comprehensive immigration reform nearly unraveled John McCain’s bid for the White House. Now, his long-standing support for border reform is complicating his bid for a fifth Senate term.

President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have signaled their intention to take another crack at overhauling U.S. immigration policy in early 2010, putting Sen. McCain, R-Ariz., back on the spot as his conservative critics take aim at him in the state’s GOP primary.

A public outcry killed the most recent attempt in 2007 and undercut McCain’s campaign fundraising in the crucial run-up to the 2008 presidential primaries. McCain persevered as the hot-button issue faded from the front pages, and he eventually secured the GOP nomination, only to lose the general election to Obama, a fellow immigration-reform supporter…

…McCain so far has kept his distance from the new bill being written by Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Obama’s point person on immigration reform, said she would appreciate the support of McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who helped negotiate the 2007 version. She also said the new bill would protect U.S. jobs.

McCain has said he won’t support the 2010 legislation if it doesn’t include the guest-worker plan, a cornerstone of previous bipartisan compromises. Such a program would import foreign workers as needed during economic boom times to meet the temporary labor demands of the U.S. business community…

Read the complete article at The Arizona Republic

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