John McCain, J.D. Hayworth have different definitions of amnesty

August 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

AZ Republic: In the real world, either J.D. Hayworth or John McCain would be lying. Hayworth, who wants Sen. McCain’s job, says again and again that the senator favors “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. McCain says that he doesn’t. They both can’t be telling the truth, can they? Yes. Not in the real world, of course. But that’s not where political candidates live, not until after the election, anyway. In the fantasyland of campaign politics, Hayworth gets to have his definition of amnesty and McCain gets to have his. And the rest of us get . . . confused. Hayworth spokesman Mark Sanders offered his candidate’s blunt version. “J.D. is absolutely unequivocally against amnesty,” he said. “If you are here illegally, you’ve got to leave.” McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said: “Even Congressman Hayworth’s fellow infomercial pitchmen would be disappointed with his utter disregard for the truth. Every single assertion in Congressman Hayworth’s new ad has already been labeled false by the respected non-partisan fact-checkers at FactCheck.org.” On the radio recently, McCain said that amnesty implies that there would be no penalties and that he did not favor that approach. The FactCheck.org article cited by McCain’s people calls Hayworth’s criticism of the senator “misleading.” But it concludes: “McCain’s position on immigration shifted during the presidential campaign. He put an emphasis on securing the border and downplayed the provisions (this refers to a proposal McCain had sponsored) that would have allowed illegal immigrants to gain legal permanent residence. He even stated that he would vote against his 2006 immigration bill during a presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. “So, McCain’s deep involvement in immigration policy and his shifting position in recent years is all fair game for Hayworth.” Under a bill McCain co-sponsored with Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2005, people who were in the country illegally could apply for a temporary-worker visa after paying a fine. They could get permanent resident status by paying another fine after working in the U.S. for six years. They’d also have to learn English and submit to a background check. But, that was then. McCain now says that a temporary work-visa program is necessary, but he avoids a lot of specifics. Not Hayworth, whose strict enforcement idea has been called unworkable. Sanders told me that his candidate didn’t envision a “massive roundup” but predicted that when the laws are enforced, illegal residents will self-deport. “We’ve seen that with SB 1070,” he said.

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