McCain Faces Angry Crowd: Arizona Town Meeting Heats Up Over Immigration Reform
By Staff Writer | February 20, 2013 05:27 PM EST
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) faces an angry crowd in a video of his town hall meeting in Sun Lakes, Arizona when he explained his immigration reform plan.
Arizona has been a hotbed for immigration issues in recent years, and this even proved that tensions there still run high. Because of its place on the border with Mexico, Arizona receives a huge influx of illegal immigrants each year.
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Residents of Arizona are very concerned about border security and the safety of their property as a result of the crimes associated illegal border crossings.
Members of the crowd became very angry when McCain proposed the new plan, and even asked, "Where's the fence?"
In his 2008 Presidential campaign, McCain stated that he would even build a fence to prevent immigrants from entering the United States illegally across the Mexico border.
But the Arizona Senator's stance has changed. At the meeting he attempted to explain that 11 million people live in the U.S. illegally, and that there simply aren't enough resources to deport all of those people.
McCain stated that immigration reform necessitates better border security that uses updated technology to detect border crossings.
In addition, he outlined the importance of the diverse services that illegal immigrants provide, including childcare.
McCain attempted to describe his plan for immigrants, which involves learning English, paying back taxes, and paying fines for original infractions of immigration laws. Essentially, his plan was a path to citizenship.
The crowd, however, was not receptive, and the encounter quickly turned hostile.
One attendee forcefully suggested that instead of enacting the outlined plan, the U.S. take away welfare benefits from illegal immigrants. The attendee reasoned that then, the immigrants would leave.
McCain seemed caught off-guard by the question and the mood of the crowd. He instead urged compassion, "We are a Judeo-Christian nation."
However, the crowd was primarily concerned with border security, and so his pleas for compassionate reform were largely ignored.
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