Just like they do in France, you see. File this one away for the next time Bush starts screeching about “scaremongering” by amnesty opponents:

At one point McCain went back and forth with one audience member, who said he was upset that the immigration proposal before Congress is not tough enough.

The man asked McCain why the United States couldn’t execute large-scale deportations, as he had heard they did in France and other countries.

“In case you hadn’t noticed, the thousands of people who have been relegated to ghettos have risen up and burned cars in France,” McCain replied. “They’ve got huge problems in France. They have tremendous problems. The police can’t even go into certain areas in the suburbs of Paris. I don’t want that in the suburbs of America.”

What St. John neglects to mention is that France couldn’t deport those rioting “youths” even if it had the means. Most of them are French citizens, natively born to immigrant parents. So perhaps the real lesson of the French experience is that citizenship doesn’t guarantee assimilation. Or perhaps it’s the idea that if you doubt your ability to assimilate people culturally, be sure you can control how many of them are coming in. One candidate seems to understand that. And I’ve got a feeling he’s going to end up faring much better in the primaries than McCain.

Update: Tape everything!

Tags: immigration