As Think Progress noted, John McCain doesn't mind cracking down on the illegal immigrants who are crossing the borders to find work, but when it comes to doing something about those businesses that hire them... maybe not so much.
Since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed the state’s new anti-immigrant bill into law last month, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been a fervent supporter. The law gives state police broad power to identify, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants. McCain, who called the law a “good tool,” said last night on Fox News that he is “proud of the work” Brewer is doing on immigration, and justified the law “because the federal government would not enforce its responsibilities.”
But while McCain offers support for this new draconian law targeting day-laborers and other undocumented immigrants, he is not in favor of enforcing laws prohibiting employers from hiring undocumented workers. Instead, he would rather “secure the borders” before holding Arizona businesses accountable to the law.
As they point out this is just another flip-flop for the not-so-mavericky McCain:
Back in 2007, McCain wanted to “strengthen the laws and penalties against those who hire illegal aliens and violate immigration law.” Now, it seems that McCain is all for enforcing immigration laws when when it is politically convenient, as Arizona businesses are presumably more organized and have more money and influence than the state’s undocumented workers.
This man just gets more pathetic by the day as this Senate race of his goes on. Van Susteren at least asked a decent question here but of course with no follow up, like telling him that his answer is completely ridiculous. I used to get sick of the same stuff out of Lou Dobbs who would attack the poor people coming here looking for work night after night on his show, but never made it a point to highlight the businesses that were hiring them.
You dry up the employment and they're not going to be flooding over the border. We've got businesses addicted to slave labor and politicians who would rather demonize the slaves than fix the trade laws that destroyed their small farms and drove them here to begin with. And round and round we go. Step on the little guy's neck, pit the workers against each other that should be on the same side of an issue and give the big guys taking advantage of everyone a pass.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Brewer, how is she doing on this issue?
MCCAIN: I'm very proud of work she is doing. And I'm glad she highlighted the fact that the president would make a joke out of problems on our border and the laws that our legislature passed.
And again, you can't make it up, when the attorney general of the United States says that he's going to consider going to court and then tests before Congress that he hasn't read the bill.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do they not understand the -- it seems the people of Arizona are begging for it. I read the statute, and I think it is an effort to run immigration policy which the state is not supposed to run under the constitution. But I see it as a cry for help from Arizona.
MCCAIN: I just think it is exactly as you said. It is a reaction to the failure of the federal government to exercise its responsibility to secure the border. And by the way, our governor will point out the cost are horrendous of illegal immigration into our state in law enforcement, health care, so many other ways.
Do not underestimate the sophistication of the human smugglers and the drug cartels. They work together. You hear a lot about human rights in this debate. You don't hear much about the fact of the abuse of these people that these coyotes are bringing across, holding them for ransom, jamming into trucks, mistreating them in the worst possible way.
You would think that human rights advocate was say let's secure the border so over time we can bring people into our country in an orderly fashion and not be subject to you these abuses. The drug cartels are right along with them.
VAN SUSTEREN: What about businesses who hire people who are not documented?
MCCAIN: Once we secure the borders we should prosecute employers to the fullest extent of the law that hire someone that's in this country illegally.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why wait to secure the borders? Why can't we do those two things at the same time?
MCCAIN: I think you could you do some of that. But the fact is if you have an unending stream of people into the country then, obviously, it's addressing the symptom, not the problem.
VAN SUSTEREN: Except for the fact that you don't have to hire someone how is undocumented if that is against the law. Maybe the law should be changed. Right now that is against the law.
MCCAIN: Yes, it is.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what about going after the companies?
MCCAIN: I think we should do that. But we should get the borders secure so there is not this symptom which is people coming to this country and working illegally.