McCain Supports Arizona's Anti-immigrant Law

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WASHINGTON, D.C.— Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who co-authored an immigration reform bill with Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2005, called the new legislation approved in Arizona “a very important step forward,” La Opinión reports. SB1070 is considered one of the most aggressive measures against immigrants in any state. The new legislation makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to be in Arizona without legal documents and will allow police to check the immigration status of anyone if they have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the country illegally.

“This is a sad day," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration reform advocacy organization America’s Voice. "Obviously, John McCain is fighting for his political survival in Arizona. I miss the days when he fought for his principles."

McCain has distanced himself from immigration issues in Congress, La Opinión reports. Several Democratic sources have commented on his silence on the issue after he lost the 2008 presidential election.

According to Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman from McCain office, he made the comment about the new Arizona law "in the context of the frustration of people in his state because of the increase in the levels of violence on the border.”

“He was saying that the federal government has not done enough to protect that area and that the state is facing the issue in the best way possible, considering the circumstances. He understands the reasons why the state senators want to act,” said Buchanan.