Huffpost Politics

John McCain Slams Mitt Romney's 'Self-Deportation,' Advocates 'Humane Approach' To Immigration

Posted: Updated:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), who endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in January, criticized the former Massachusetts' governor's
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), who endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in January, criticized the former Massachusetts' governor's "self-deportation" plan in a Sunday interview.

In an interview on Sunday with Univision, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" immigration policy, stating that Republicans should adopt a "very humane approach" to immigration in order to secure Latino voters.

McCain, who does not support the Dream Act, said that Republicans should address the problems posed by border insecurity, but also must consider the human side to the issue of the country's 12 million undocumented immigrants, as well as the impact that aggressive reform policies may have on the party's ability to win over voters.

"I think that it has to be a very humane approach to this issue, and we have to come up with solutions to it," said McCain. "But we also have to do something about the drugs that are coming across our southern border that are killing our kids."

McCain expressed a similar sentiment in an interview with CNN in December, warning that states with large Hispanic populations like Arizona and New Mexico could be "up for grabs."

When asked by Univision's Jorge Ramos if "self-deportation" is humane, McCain replied, "No. I think there are some people who want to leave this country and return to the country they came from, but obviously it requires a broader solution that that, and we all know that."

Romney outlined his immigration plan in a January debate and highlighted the idea of "self-deportation, which is when people decide that they can do better by going home because they can't find work here." As ThinkProgress pointed out, this idea is central to anti-immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama.

McCain, who endorsed Romney in January and has made campaign stops on behalf of the former Massachusetts governor, is not the first Republican to distance himself from the candidate's immigration comments. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), a Cuban-American Romney supporter, said that the "self-deportation" comment was "frankly a bad choice of words." Presidential rival Newt Gingrich also attacked the plan, stating that Romney "shows no concern for the humanity of the people who are already here."

Watch the full clip:



Around the Web

John McCain Immigration Reversal: 'Complete Danged Fence ...

John McCain: Immigrants Caused Arizona Wildfires (VIDEO)

Romney-Backer John McCain Rejects Romney's Immigration Policy ...

John McCain fans the fires of immigration intolerance in Arizona ...

McCain's Tough Stance on Arizona Immigration Bill - NYTimes.com

Romney-Backer John McCain Rejects Romney's Immigration Policy Of Self-Deportation

DUVALL: Immigration, not economy, could tip 2012 election

History Repeats Itself as Romney Takes a Hard-line on Immigration

Latinos won't forget Romney's 'anti-immigrant' talk

America's Voice: The fight to win Nevada, and the West, has already begun

Tarmac tiff brings shines light on immigration debate

Senator Marco Rubio, The GOP Golden Boy, Impresses

Filed by Mollie Reilly
 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote