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    May 2006

    McCain: Immigration bill could give foreign workers leg up on Americans

    By Stephen Dinan
    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Photo by: Ross D. Franklin
    Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain (right) and Jeff Flake listen to a question from the audience as they attend an "immigration conversation" on Aug. 27, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz. The two are members of the "Gang of Eight" who pushed a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the Senate earlier this year. (Associated Press)

    While illegal immigration has become a major political issue for the entire country, it has long been a hot-button issue in Arizona. Five years ago, President Obama even tapped then-Gov. Janet A. Napolitano to come to Washington to head the Homeland Security Department.

    On Tuesday, Ms. Napolitano delivered her farewell address as she prepares to leave early next month, and she said one of her disappointments was that Congress has yet to pass a bill to legalize illegal immigrants.

    She said she was proud of the steps she was able to take unilaterally to revamp her department’s priorities for whom gets deported.

    “We instructed our immigration agents and officers to use their discretion under current law to not pursue low-priority immigration cases, like children brought to the United States illegally by their parents — children brought here through no fault of their own and who know no other country as their home,” she said.

    Mr. McCain and Ms. Napolitano have repeatedly battled over the way she has run her department and whether she is doing enough to combat illegal entries in the Southwest.

    Mr. McCain, though, said his distrust of the Obama administration isn’t a reason not to try to pass an immigration bill now.

    “If you use that logic, which people are saying, ‘Well, don’t pass legislation because the president won’t enforce it’ — then let’s not pass any laws,” he said.

    He said going forward, Congress and the courts will pressure the administration to follow through on new laws.
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