June 9th, 2007
05:29 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain says time running out for immigration deal

McCain says "time is not on our side" for immigration deal

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN)– Senator John McCain said Saturday that time is running out to forge a compromise on immigration reform. "Hopefully we can come to an agreement, but in all candor, a little straight talk, time is not on our side." The republican presidential candidate from Arizona made the comments following a town hall meeting in Newton, Iowa.

"The status quo is de facto amnesty," he said. "So for us to do nothing and celebrate the fact that we stopped this legislation, then those who have a better idea can give it to us so we can consider it and move forward." An immigration reform proposal put forward by McCain, and a group of bi-partisan senators fell short of the votes needed to cut off debate in the Senate earlier this week.

His appearance in Iowa came just days after his campaign announced he would not participate in the state's GOP straw poll this August."It was a tough decision, it really was, but we intend to be in the caucuses." His competitor, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced he was making the same move as well. Like McCain, he also intends to compete in the Iowa caucuses.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Immigration • Iowa • John McCain • Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani • Senate
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Lorin. San Marcos, CA

    More likely your tenure in the Senate is running out, you have attempted to sell out your constituents.

    June 9, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Bill W, Coatesville PA

    Let time run out, Senator. The better idea? Enforce the laws we already have.

    For starters,here's a novel idea: how about we actually fund, man, and support the border patrol – instead of undermanning them, underfunding the, and sending them to prison for doing their job!

    I don't understand how the LEGAL residents of Arizona elected you. The legal residents of your state are being overrun on a daily basis. The illegals flowing into your state every day are carrying illegal drugs and committing numerous other crimes – besides the one they committed as soon they violated our border.

    Get real, Senator. If you grant amnesty to those who violated our border illegally, how many more will just follow them illegally, after you tell them it is OK to do so?

    Do not reward those who broke our laws by giving them what they took illegally. First, secure the border. An estimated 2,000 illegals are crossing our border every day, senator. That's 60,000 per month, and almost three quarters of a million, every year. And these numbers are guesses, senator. Nobody, not even our government, knows how many are really here. But there are probably more than most people think.

    Second, if the jobs that attract them go away, then they will not come. So you must – MUST – levy huge fines on the businesses that hire them. And the laws must be enforced, not just created for show.

    When – and only when – first,the border is secured, and second, it is a felony to hire an illegal alien – can we move on and talk about some kind of program.

    Americans need jobs, too , senator. They're the people who elected you, remember?

    June 9, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Todd Benson

    Senator McCain is disingenuous at best and mildly insulting at worst. He claims that doing nothing is de facto amnesty and that if anyone has a better idea that we should put it forth. Here's my idea. How about you enforce the laws that currently exist on the book instead of creating more laws that the federal government refuses to enforce? How's that for a novel idea Senator McCain? Enforce the laws, do your duty under the Constitution. If you came here illegally, didn't pay federal income tax, tapped into our entitlement programs, and basically became a drag on the American citizenry, then how about you send them home. If I could have such great benefits of never paying federal income tax, then you give me amnesty, I'll take that any day. How about extending these great benefits to the middle class as well, Senator McCain. American are not that dumb. We see through your falacious arguments and that is why we hate this bill. So how about doing something new and follow the will of the people. Isn't that why you were elected?

    June 9, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Rose, Las Vegas NV

    I think that politicians need more time to think about the effects of this issue; but it needs to be resolved as soon as possible. How can a government award people for committing crimes? I find it incredibly unfair that members of my family waited 11 years to come to the U.S. They did it right and legally. After waiting for a decade, it's obvious that they will make the most of their time here. That they will pay their taxes, strive for a good life and succeed.

    June 9, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Bea Myers Sun City West, Az

    McCain why don't you read The Heritage Foundations' recommendations if you want good ideas for immigration reform.

    We are not celebrating the defeat of your bill, we are just stunned that anyone who wants to represent the citizens of this country could come up with such garbage!

    June 9, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. P Gibbons, Springdale, AR

    Whats the hurry McCain. I say put this bill away and lets put our focus on upholding our current laws and securing our borders.

    June 10, 2007 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. Alan, Atlanta GA

    Why is status quo, ie doing nothing always the alternative? Enforce the existing laws and secure the border before dealing with illegal immigrants. Giving carte blanche residence or citizenship to 20 million illegals is absolute madness and will negatively affect America for generations.
    This government is selling out America and the immigration bill is a total sham. This makes Eminent Domain look trivial in comparison. My fellow Americans, if you don't protect what you have, you will surely lose it.

    June 10, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. DMW, Roeland Park, KS

    "The status quo is de facto amnesty" because Congress does not have the will to enforce existing laws!!!! Hello?!? is anybody in WDC listening.

    The American people are not fools! Use me once, shame on you, use me twice, shame on me! We have heard all of the arguments before and trusted Congress, they lied to us. Why would we trust them again? Especially, now that we really know what is in this bill.

    June 11, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |