Extreme Platform Language at Odds with National Consensus
One-time immigration reformer Senator John McCain, who championed comprehensive immigration reform in response to a national outcry for leadership, has surrendered to the wishes of his own party platform that serves up the same anti-immigrant mush to America.
After being a lead architect of comprehensive immigration reform in the 109th and 110th Congress, Senator McCain tacked right on the issue during the Republican primary season. Senator McCain announced that he had “gotten the message” on immigration and even went so far as to say that he wouldn’t sign the very bill he risked his political career to advance. Yet after securing the Republican nomination, Senator McCain attempted to move back to the center. He recently began using the language of “comprehensive” immigration reform again, and has renewed his call for a realistic policy to address the status of undocumented immigrants at such prominent venues as the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza.
However, the Republican Party hasn’t followed his direction. Despite ignoring the immigration issue during the convention proceedings, the party platform is chock-full of language and policy approaches at odds with Senator McCain’s immigration record. For example, the platform states “We oppose amnesty” yet makes no attempt to provide a commonsense solution to address the 12 million undocumented workers already living and working here.
“The Republican platform proposes a succinct test for U.S. immigration policy – “Does it serve the national interest?” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “The policies that follow fail that test. They are short-sighted approaches that would place the fears of the worst elements of the Republican Party over the nation’s real long-term best interests. While I hope Senator McCain’s voice on this issue wins out over the extremist wing of his Party, the convention shows the hardliners currently control the debate. No wonder immigrant voters are abandoning the Republican Party in record numbers.”