Video: John McCain says he “never supported amnesty”

posted at 5:00 pm on December 30, 2007 by Bryan

Obviously we’re into hair-splitting territory here with our new national leader. The immigration bill that died in the Senate a few months back resembled the similar bill that died in the Senate last year in that neither bore the name “amnesty” in their titles or anywhere else. But they were also similar in that they were both in fact amnesties for illegal aliens. No less a figure than Ed Meese, who was President Reagan’s attorney general during the 1986 amnesty, considered the 2006 bill amnesty, and McCain supported that bill. It didn’t have “amnesty” in the title but it did have McCain’s name on it. Meese also said that the 1986 amnesty was a mistake, and that the 2006 amnesty would also have been a mistake.

So I guess it depends on what you mean by “amnesty.” Actually, no, it doesn’t, because McCain did support “amnesty” as amnesty in 2003.

Everybody who cares about the issue knows where McCain has been on it, and they know that what he supported was an amnesty and that he supported it consistently. McCain had a better answer to immigration questions a few weeks back when he said that he’d learned his lesson and would support border security before attempting another “comprehensive immigration reform,” i.e. amnesty. The Straight Talker should’ve just stuck with that. It had the virtue of at least not being laughably easy to disprove.


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McCain is rewriting history. McCain was part of that team from the summer of 2007 that wanted the shamnesty. My usual disclaimer: McCain served this country well in Hotel Hanoi. However, his love for open borders is pathetic.

saved on December 30, 2007 at 9:34 PM

I’m curious what everyone here proposes we do with illegals who have been in this country for 10 or so years; who may own property, have kids in schools, not living off the system etc. Kick them out?

lorien1973 on December 30, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I’ve never been a fan of the theory that if you commit a crime chronically, you have a right. For instance, if you smoke every day for the last fifteen years, you don’t get a Smoke Pot Legally card–despite the fact my preference that marijuana be decriminalized. So, yes, if someone has been living here for forty years illegal, we should stop them from being employed, by making it far too expensive and risky for the employer to continue to employ them. Let them return home on their own if they can’t afford to stay without employment.

thuja on December 30, 2007 at 9:35 PM

See, i’d clear these people. Make them pay back taxes (if any) and just put them through the system. If you aren’t living off the system, have a job, a family, a little land. You are cool with me.

You’d force them to give up their land, job, life, etc. And return where? Their home country probably even wouldn’t want them back. You gotta be a little practical here, i think.

If they have children; they are american citizens. Certainly, their country wouldn’t accept them as citizens.

lorien1973 on December 30, 2007 at 7:31 PM

What fuzzy-headed logic resulted in that bit of nonsense?

By the points:

1. Illegals broke the law, no matter how long they’ve lived here or what material possessions they’ve managed to obtain. You’re suggesting that not gettng caught excuses the inital bad act. Why not extend that same largesse to killers and other criminals who stay unidentified and out of trouble for a period of time? Fact of the matter is that there is a waiting list of those who want to immigrate the legal way and you have no right to put criminals in front of the line for no other reason than they are already in the country.

2. Illegal aliens have no legal standing here (at least until you fuzzy-headed people get your way). Perfectly legitimate to return these CRIMINALS to their rightful countries. They can leave their anchor babies here or take them to the home country. Doesn’t really matter to me. American citizens can reside with their foreign parents and foreigners can own property in America. The only thing that is going on here is refusing to legitimize, by amnesty, the fact that these ciminals have no legal standing and deserve no more than the services any human being should expect. Certainly not social services for which they’ve not paid into and are ineligible for in the first place!

3. Finally, the anchor babies wouldn’t be accepted back home arguement- not our problem.

You clearly are working from emotion without the least sense of this issue. I lived in the tortilla belt of Southern California for many years. Your picture of the illegals is a romantic deptiction of the truth. Try living two doors down from a house that had 20 or so illegals (mostly young men) living in about 1200sqft. Try going to the local school and see how assimilation wasn’t practiced- just teaching in Spanish. Try going to the local post office and see how little money earned in America stays here. These criminals don’t intend to become Americans. They just want to earn all they can before returning home. I say we help them do that sooner rather than later.

highhopes on December 30, 2007 at 9:42 PM

My children speak some Spanish, not the worst thing in the world.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 9:27 PM

Come now, sir/ma’am. You know that the issue being discussed isn’t merely the speaking of Spanish/German etc. Heck, I speak both of those–by choice (my Spanish isn’t so hot). The issue at hand, however, is whose culture will be dominant in this society. Culture, by definition, carries with it a specific language. Most of us want the dominant culture in the USA to remain one in which English is the required language; we don’t want a culture from elsewhere to become dominant, requiring some other language regardless of which language it is. It just so happens that it is the western hemisphere’s Spanish-speaking culture that is most in contention.

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 9:44 PM

That had to be B.J. wearing a McCain mask. Not even John would try doing a B.J. parsing of the words amnesty and citizenship for criminals and claim both are not the same.

So, it was either B.J. or John is senile.

Helloyawl on December 30, 2007 at 9:45 PM

You’d force them to give up their land, job, life, etc. And return where? Their home country probably even wouldn’t want them back. You gotta be a little practical here, i think.

If they have children; they are American citizens. Certainly, their country wouldn’t accept them as citizens.

lorien1973 on December 30, 2007 at 7:31 PM

From a Reuters article on the “self-deportation” of illegal immigrants from states which have passed tough employment laws:

Mexican consular sources in Phoenix say they are seeing a spike in the number of immigrants applying for Mexican citizenship for their U.S.-born children, which will allow them to enroll in schools in Mexico.

They are also seeing a rise in requests for papers enabling families to carry household belongings back to Mexico, free of import duties.

Members of the Brazilian community in the U.S. northeast, meanwhile, say they are starting to see an increase in the number of illegal immigrants heading back to their homes in Brazil in recent months.

“They are beginning to put in the balance the constant fear of being detained and deported, and many are deciding to leave,” said Fausto Mendes da Rocha, executive director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center in Boston.

Others are moving to states which don’t have such laws–like California.

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 9:58 PM

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 9:44 PM

I agree with much of what you say. My previous post was a response to another post. I think it is essential that new immigrants learn English. It is, and should be, a requirement to become naturalized.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:04 PM

My previous post was a response to another post.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:04 PM

You mean this one?

If John McCain had been successful, your grand children would be speaking spanish & adopting a 3rd world culture when only a generation before him, real partiots stopped him from having to speak german.

Yes, I know. As a matter of fact it was the reason that I responded the way I did. I try to follow the thread of a conversation; I hope that you do also.

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 10:16 PM

Continued confusion on amnesty versus rewards.

Amnesty is forgiveness for past misdeeds – no fine, no jail time, BUT you don’t get to keep breaking the law, and you most certainly do not get to keep any ill-gotten goods.

I am all for amnesty for illegal aliens now in this country – I don’t want them in jail on my dime, I don’t need to fine them, but I want them GONE! They do NOT get to keep their ill-gotten goods – presence in this country.

If they promise to leave immediately, I will be happy to give them amnesty. After checking for ID theft and many other crimes, of course.

McCain is correct – he proposed small fines, etc., so the illegal aliens would not technically be getting amnesty.

But McCain/Bush/Kennedy et al are worse – they proposed REWARDING illegal aliens with either allowing them to stay in our country, or one-day touchback, or Z visa, “pathway to citizenship”, or other crapola.

Amnesty fine – but NO REWARDS! And DLTDHYITAOYWO.

fred5678 on December 30, 2007 at 10:18 PM

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 10:16 PM

Thanks for the careful reading. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

My point in that reply was that McCain’s father fought in the Navy in WWII and then McCain followed in Vietnam. When America has been in need, there have been several generations of McCain’s family who have risked their lives. It is hard to describe him as having contempt for America, as some earlier posts had stated.

McCain took a shot as a Senator at a compromise bill to address the illegal problem in the country. If the bill was ultimately flawed, it isn’t because McCain doesn’t care for American values.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:35 PM

The issue at hand, however, is whose culture will be dominant in this society.

We agree on the English language being essential. I’m also against bi-lingual education–rather have immigrants immersed in school.

I do think America has the dominant world culture and is doing more to change other cultures–both abroad and with immigrants who come here.

You and I could argue over what the American culture is. Perhaps, lately, it has been about individuals and groups consuming products that the media creates a need for. In that regard, the world is racing to become like us.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:39 PM

Don’t get me wrong: I prefer Duncan Hunter ahead of all the other candidates, but all you “true conservatives” continue to ignore him.

Okay, then. If Hunter does not get the nomination, then I will sure as hell be voting for McCain, who is — I grant you — a sonofabitch.

However, after eight long years’ of the current Administration’s ham-handed, incompetent, do-goodiness about the “Religion of Peace,” and “our friends” in China, we could use a sonofabitch in the White House who knows how to handle certifiably evil leaders as found in places like Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia.

sanantonian on December 30, 2007 at 10:46 PM

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:35 PM

McCain’s family clearly has an admirable tradition of military service. This tradition has not the slightest bit of bearing on the senator’s honesty with regard to his stance on amnesty illegal immigration. His good lineage, his other good works and his sacrifice do not confer a get-out-of-the-dog-house-free card upon him with regard to this matter.

Heck, I’m a GI also but that doesn’t entitle him to my aggreement with his opinion and/or my vote any more than Obama is entitled to same because our fathers are from the same tribe. If McCain’s full it, his campaign suffer for it.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 10:39 PM

All that stuff about consumption and “world culture” is interesting, but irrelevant to the point of the original comment to which you were responding. Short point: since our WWII victory, the USA has built a culture, but various methods have been used and are being used to dilute it. One of those is the laxity of illegal immigration enforcement and its progeny, the allowance of Spanish to contend with English’s dominion (in schools, in the workplace). Some of us want it stopped and know that it can be easily stopped. The John McCains of the country know this also, but for some reason(s) they’re doing the exact opposite (I have some ideas about that) and McCain himself is trying to BS the public.

And that’s why I’m not voting for him.

baldilocks on December 30, 2007 at 11:17 PM

And that’s why I’m not voting for him.

Thanks for the insight. I agree that no one should vote McCain into office primarily because of his military service.

I’ve observed many cultures in the United States. I’ve lived in New York City for the past 20 years and constantly see them pushing against one another, morphing over the years and sometimes over generations.

The original comment I responded to, or at least the meme that I reacted to was an equivalence between fighting a war against Germany and fighting against an invasion from Mexico. One point I made was that Germany wasn’t logistically able to invade and occupy us–but that historical question wasn’t the issue. The point at question, I gather, is whether we are being invaded.

I can’t speak for the SouthWest, which has a specific problem with a Mexican culture that has transported itself across the border. In New York City, it isn’t a significant problem–perhaps because there is an ocean or continent to cross and no single foreign culture is dominant.

Cultures are different, and some are better than others, but I don’t think the American culture is static. The culture that WWII veterans fought for has changed, not, primarily, because foreigners changed it but because their children and grandchildren did.

dedalus on December 30, 2007 at 11:51 PM

NYC.. a difference in perspective. That explains a lot. Thanks. (Sometimes I notice people from other regions of the country taking things seriously that most southwesterners would just brush off.) However, I think that everyone who values this culture should be worried, even if the “invader” isn’t right on ones’ doorstep.

The basis of American culture should be static. Foreigners or their children may change the peripherals of it but why would they want to change the foundation? I think the foundation has more to fear from people like McCain.

Thanks for the good conversation! ‘See’ you tomorrow.

baldilocks on December 31, 2007 at 1:03 AM

“I did not support McCain/Feingold. See, my name was just the one my senate staff just put on it. I didn’t really approve of that. Did I mention I was in Vietnam?
– John McCain in last bid to win us over

Warner Todd Huston on December 31, 2007 at 6:48 AM

I guess it all depends on what “amnesty” is.

McCain has granite stones the size of the Queen Mary to try and pull this one off. And this beloved co-author of the McCain-Feingold abomination would probably love to find some way for all evidence of his loose association with the truth to become illegal.

Physics Geek on December 31, 2007 at 7:52 AM

I believe that John McCain’s pants just caught on fire.

Physics Geek on December 31, 2007 at 7:54 AM

Just shows how powerful the insider polls show anti-amnesty to be.
McCain, why not just say you goofed, you learned your lesson, there will be no amnesty…make it your pledge.

right2bright on December 31, 2007 at 9:51 AM

Thanks for the good conversation! ‘See’ you tomorrow.

Thanks Baldilocks. Happy New Year.

dedalus on December 31, 2007 at 10:07 AM

McCain is such a liar

Zetterson on December 31, 2007 at 12:07 PM

Excuse me, but most of you obviously have not taken the time to study the immigration legislation for which John McCain sought passage. I realize that most of you are not lawyers who are trained to study a piece of legislation, but if you don’t, you end up making glib statements that you think are true, but are not true at all and indeed wide of the mark.

The truth is that John McCain never did support amnesty. It is NOT denial on his part to say so; it was what he was saying during the debate over the immigration bill. The immigraiton bill for which he sought passage was not on its face amnesty and would not be amensty IF the law enforcement provisions were enforced
Phil Byler on December 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM

I guess you think I wouldn’t read the bill, not even for $50 an hour

entagor on December 31, 2007 at 1:06 PM

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