Richardson on McCain's Immigration Stance, Part One

In light of Bill Richardson’s remarks to USA Today–he said John McCain has "good record on immigration" and noted, "You can’t underestimate John McCain with Hispanics"–it’s worth looking back at his recent appearance at the Council of Foreign Relations.

During that interview, with C.F.R.’s Garrick Utley, Richardson spoke at length about McCain, immigration and Hispanic voters. He offered praise for the Republican nominee, but also said he thinks McCain is moving in the wrong direction.

Excerpts from the transcript:

And I believe what my candidate, Senator Obama, can bring is the ability to heal, and bring people together and develop coalitions. And I am optimistic that a Republican candidate — Senator McCain, who also has a good record on immigration, although because of conservative pressures is moving in the wrong direction; that immigration reform could be an issue that is effectively dealt with, comprehensive immigration reform, securing borders, a legalization plan, a stronger relationship with Mexico, because most of these problems are economic; finding ways to — those that knowingly hire illegal workers be punished, and many other ways to deal with the need for seasoned and educated workers that needs a reform in the legal immigration area. I think we can do it.

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One of the problems that I think Senator McCain is getting into is he is now saying that first you’ve got to secure the border, then you have to deal with the 12 million that are here. Well, you can’t do that. You’ve got to do it simultaneously. You’ve got to do it at the same time to deal with the push-and-pull of immigration.

[skip]

And Senator McCain — you know the best legislation in this country is always bipartisan. The best legal immigration position was drafted by Ted Kennedy and John McCain.

 

Richardson on McCain's Immigration Stance, Part One