June 6th, 2007
10:01 AM ET
9 years ago

McCain stands alone on immigration bill

Sen. John McCain said of the immigration bill in Congress: "If someone else has a better idea, I'd love to have them give it to us."

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. John McCain defended his support of a controversial immigration reform bill from criticism by other Republican presidential hopefuls Tuesday night as the GOP contenders held their first debate in New Hampshire.

"America is still the land of opportunity, and it is a beacon of hope and liberty and, as Ronald Reagan said, a shining city on the hill," McCain said. "And we're not going to erect barriers and fences."

McCain was a lonely voice on the stage at Saint Anselm College in defense of the plan now being debated in the Senate. The front-runner in recent polls, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, called it "a typical Washington mess."

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Carel Trojan , Atlanta , GA

    I was born and raised in Europe and came to United States 6 years ago. With College degree in Information Technology as an exchange student. Started working for a big corporation with many factories and offices across the whole world. I've met my girlfriend down here in Peach State.
    Went back to Europe still working for the same corporation, but I missed my girlfriend so much that I decided to quit the very nice job, applied for another Visa and went back here with no sure plan for future, only knowing that I want to be with her. I've found a new job, continued my education and become Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Which I paid for myself. In order to be with my girlfriend and not to get married right away I overstayed my visa and become illegal ! I pay all taxes, I'm insured and do not owe a penny to anybody. So when I hear people say that illegals should stand in a line and wait for their turn it makes me angry. It is an empty phrase, there is NO LINE ! Go to uscis website and find for yourself, if you don't have any relatives here or big sponsor that will apply for your Visa then there is no chance for people like me to simply apply for a legal residency. And therefore have a chance to live and share future with my girlfriend. We were together for 6 years and still are together, maybe we should get married but we didn't want to do it for the "paper". And do you think that people like me who came here legally and do everything that a proper resident a citizen should do ( sometimes better then some citizens) should be thrown in the same group of "bad guys" with people who jumped the fence ?

    June 6, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. George Greggs

    I could not believe my ears when I heard the "Top 3" candidates, Romney, Guiliani, and McCain saying they would pre-emptive NUKE Iran.

    That was CRAZY.

    Ron Paul pointed this out and after some research, I'm compeltely going for Ron Paul now.

    June 6, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. J.Hall

    John McCain knows what courage is.
    His political stands are profiles in courage. Maybe he's the only candidate old enough and still capable of remembering how John F. Kennedy temporarily inspired a generation of Americans. I think McCain is talking and thinking over the heads of his Republican rivals who don't demonstrate much understanding of what political courage and statesmanship are.

    June 6, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. joe notfooled, washington d.c.

    Freedom's on the march!! Right on out of the USA.

    June 6, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Richard Jones, Lugoff, SC

    I am still waiting for McCain to give me his lettuce picking job!

    June 6, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. not sympatheric

    Uh, I love my girlfriend so I broke your laws and now I am angry at you terrible americans for making my life so horrible and not just giving me the citizenship that you hold dear because. well, because I want it. Oh also I broke the laws of a nation to be here with my girlfriend but don't ask me to marry her!!! LOL, listen, you made bad decisions and you knew it at the time. Don't cry and blame other. Americans are really sweet people and they will help and forgive, but have some respect and be honest abotu your mistakes. Take responsibility.

    June 6, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Kratos, Mesa AZ

    I don't support what he wants to pass. I am an American that came into this world where white people were the predominate race in the US but as I grew up that changed and quick. I went to school having to learn Spanish when I was in first grade, by first grade I barely knew my countries language. Moving into Middle school it was a common thing to see Latino on white fights and they get away with it yet when I hit back it became a hate crime. Now with this bill its saying oh hey we forgive you come in and take our homes jobs and school, hell lets give Southern California, Arizona, and Texas back to Mexico they already own most of it now they are legal. Doing this will only hurt Americans even more think before you support something no one else will.

    June 6, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. DJ, Los Angeles, CA

    McCain is trying to have it both ways. Trying to say he is tough on terrorism. Yet claims that we should not even build fences to defend the border.

    Obviously he is trying to get the hispanic vote, which is considerable in AZ, not to mention other states.

    We don't even know if there are 12 million or 20 million illegal aliens. How can we have amnesty if the border is not even secure?

    What about working with Mexico to improve standards of living, to where they won't want to keep coming? Have any of the candidates thought about that?

    June 6, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. David, Gilbert Arizona

    McCain helped put together this bi-partisan immigration program. He has no other option than to defend it.

    McCain threw up a smoke screen by saying, "America is still the land of opportunity..." What he isn't saying is that his program creates a second class citizen called a guest worker. Why would a company hire me, an American citizen, when they can hire a guest worker at minimum wage? Keep in mind that minimum wage in America is possibly much more than what the guest worker would earn in Mexico.

    This program is horrible for the American working class by driving pay rates down and keeping them down. It also has the potential to replace the American employee with much cheaper guest workers.

    The program is a huge benefit to employers, however. As it is right now the employer is breaking the law by hiring illegal immigrants. By creating a guest worker program the employer gets a "get out of jail free" card by reclassifying the illegal immigrant as a guest worker. Is it any surprise that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as other business interests are helping back the McCain-Kennedy guest worker program?

    What is being over looked is the impact on the American economy. This program drives the American lower middle class closer to the poverty line. Guest workers are going to be taking American dollars out of the U.S. economy and sending them to their families in Mexico. And the division between the wealthy and the working class grows wider.

    Guest workers benefit no one except big business.

    June 6, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Susie Wrigley, Lansing, KS

    I am a life-long and family democrat, but I think that John McCain's message reads so much deeper than what most 5-minute news seekers will ever see. All those candidates who have such rose-colored solutions to our problems have never spent 5 years in a concentration camp! Most have never put their own beliefs on the line for more than just a congressional promise.

    June 6, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Peter Osmar, Brimley Michigan

    How long do we have to listen to this guy talking out of both sides of his face.
    NO on amnesty,NO on McCain.

    June 6, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. Darlene, Kansas City, MO

    My ancestors were forced through the Trail of Tears and many died. The original nation of North America were the Indians. The white man came over and got greedy with the land and started the so called government.The government made promises to the Indians in which they didn't keep. The government is still doing this but now they are doing it to all who live here. What goes around comes around.

    June 6, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  13. wawa wawa

    well well... i can't say much about the past because the past is gone. we want Obama so go vote vote.... so i could at least do well on my up coming exam with good clear mind!!

    November 3, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |