Tags: mccain | illegals | immigration | reform

McCain: Illegals Aren't Going Home

By Elliot Jager   |   Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 08:19 AM

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told an audience at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy Jr. forum that illegal immigrants are "not going home," The Hill reported.

The United States has no realistic option but to accept their presence. "They're not going home. And so why don't we give them a path to citizenship?" said McCain.

"There are not enough buses to deport them," he argued. "It's de facto amnesty."

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McCain has long sought to build bipartisan support for immigration reform. Speaking at the forum, McCain recalled his collaborative work on immigration with the late Democratic senator Ted Kennedy in 2005.

The Democratic-led Senate passed an immigration overhaul bill in June, 68-32 with the backing of 14 out of 45 Republicans,  Politico reported. The Republican controlled House has not taken up the measure.

McCain said he opposes automatic amnesty. The Senate bill sets up a process so that "it would take years for people's status to change."

Keeping illegal immigrants "in the shadows" was a "stain on America's honor," said McCain
He reiterated that "the Republican Party will never win another nationwide election unless we enact comprehensive immigration reform."

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