Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) News Release

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the current debate on illegal immigration:

“The circus currently surrounding the debate over illegal immigration sows division within our country and damages the Republican Party. I agree with the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and so many others who have stated the plain political reality: that if the Republican nominee for president does not support comprehensive immigration reform and border security policy, we have no chance of defeating Hillary Clinton and winning the White House in 2016.

“Arizona has been on the front lines of this serious problem for years. That’s why I partnered with then-President George W. Bush and Republicans and Democrats in Congress a decade ago and then again in 2013 to advance practical solutions to reform our broken immigration system in a humane manner and regain control of our border to protect our nation. In fact, our most recent legislation included provisions requiring investments in border security totaling some $6.5 billion and hiring an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents.

“Unfortunately, those efforts failed. But the status quo remains unacceptable – threatening our security, damaging our economy, thwarting the rule of law, and failing our humanitarian responsibilities.

“Just as Arizonans well know the burdens of an insecure border, we also know that our state has been so greatly enriched by Arizona’s Hispanic community. Arizonans have a deep appreciation for their many contributions to the culture and prosperity of our state, where Spanish was spoken before English. Put simply, we know Arizona wouldn’t be the uniquely special place it is without them.

“Last week, I spent 4th of July with our military men and women serving in Afghanistan – a sizeable percentage of whom are Hispanic. It pains me to think of those brave Americans, serving their nation in the war zone, watching this debate back home devolve into the sideshow it has become in recent days. As we engage in this important debate, we must remember to conduct it in a manner that is worthy of their sacrifices, to make this country the beautiful, bountiful, blessed place we love.”

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