The conservative Arizona blog "Seeing Red AZ" ran a post this week referencing a Washington Times piece on, depending how you view it, either McCain's "confusion" or "conversion" on immigration. The Times compared McCain's recent statements on immigration with those he made in a 1986 senate campaign against opponent Richard Kimball. The Times draws on archived editions of the Arizona Republic. McCain back then was opposed to legislation requiring stricter rules guiding employer verification of worker legal status and he supported illegal immigrant amnesty programs. McCain opposed a 1986 amnesty bill, he said, not because of the amnesty provisions, but because its verification provisions he thought would foster racist hiring practices.
The blogger at Seeing Red AZ calls McCain on the carpet:
...Speaking recently to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials [McCain] brought up that bill: "In 1986, we passed a law that said we would secure the borders and gave amnesty to a couple, three million people. I supported that legislation way back then."
Far from supporting it, McCain didn't only vote against the bill, he used charged language to criticize it. The Arizona Republic quoted him as saying the bill's requirements for employers to verify workers "would institutionalize discrimination."
McCain told the Hispanic group NALEO that passing an immigration bill to legalize illegal immigrants is "my top priority, yesterday, today and tomorrow."
Seeing Red also bemoans McCain's "late-night, closed door meeting with Hispanic leaders in Chicago assuring them he would push through congressional legislation to liberalize federal immigration laws if elected" and notes that
McCain is scheduled to speak to the ethnic separatist group, La Raza July 14, 2008. Colin McNickle director of the editorial pages at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes about the lapse of judgment in addressing such a radical group.
Read more here.