Immigration debate with John McCain

During remarks Monday before the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), Senator John McCain offered to debate FAIR “any time, any place” about the critical issue of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. In his presentation to the ALL gathering, Senator McCain asserted that immigration is now the issue of greatest concern to the American public.

Dan Stein, president of FAIR, immediately accepted Senator McCain’s proposal for a “respectful” debate about immigration policy. “We thank Senator McCain for his offer to debate this critical public policy issue, and we respectfully and enthusiastically accept that invitation,” said Stein. “A frank and public debate about immigration policy has long been needed in this country, and we look forward to having this discussion at the Senator’s earliest possible convenience.”

“On one matter there is absolutely no disagreement between ourselves and Senator McCain: immigration is the most important issue facing the United States today,” said Stein. “The decisions that Congress makes this year will affect every meaningful aspect of life in America for generations to come. From homeland security, to the environment, to the long-term viability of the middle class in America, immigration policy will play a defining role in the sort of country our children and grandchildren will inherit.”

In a letter to Senator McCain, FAIR proposes a public debate at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this summer. FAIR is also amenable to holding additional debates at a time and location of Senator McCain’s choosing. “Our bottom line is that comprehensive immigration reform is a matter that must be debated before any serious consideration is given to pending legislation and that it be held in a forum that affords the greatest possible coverage by the media. If, as the Senator has pointed out, this is the number one concern for the American public, then it must be debated before the American public,” Stein said.

In response to the McCain-Kennedy and other expected legislation, FAIR has published Seven Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

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