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November 05, 2007

What McCain Learned from the Demise of Immigration Reform

Senator John McCain has given up talking about features of his comprehensive immigration reform act now that he's realized how unpopular it is. He got the message.

Now, the Republican presidential candidate emphasizes securing the borders first. The rest, he says, is still needed but will have to come later.

"I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift," McCain told reporters Saturday after voters questioned him on his position during back-to-back campaign appearances in this early voting state. "I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people's priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders."

This is not a flip-flop in the mold of Kerry, where a politician changes his convictions depending on his audience. McCain still believes in his comprehensive solution. He's just realized that neither Congress nor his constituents are in the mood to hand out amnesties while the borders are wide open.

Republicans should take note of that. It's a good thing that McCain has learned from this summer's errors. But he hasn't really changed anything aside from the order in which he will accomplish his goals.

"I said, OK. We'll secure the borders, but after we secure the borders, we'll have a temporary worker program, we'll have to address the 12 million people here illegally, and I think the best way is the proposal that we had. But we've got to secure the borders first," McCain said.

The rest of his comprehensive immigration reform plan is still on the way.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:02 PM

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