Wednesday, September 22, 2010

McCain vs. Napolitano on the Border

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

U.S. Sen. John McCain takes on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Hill reports:


McCain proposed bringing some of the local Arizonan sheriffs who patrol the state’s border with Mexico up to Washington D.C. to testify, saying that they would tell a different story.

“Let’s get [Cochise County] Sheriff Larry Dever and sheriffs that Secretary Napolitano says she’s in contact with and they’ll tell you,” McCain said. “They’re law enforcement people, they’re down there on the front lines, and they’ll tell you that they have not seen an improvement.”

At which point, Napolitano, encouraged by the suggestion, shot back.

“Let’s get [Santa Cruz County] Sheriff [Tony] Estrada and Yuma County Sheriff [Ralph] Ogden and some of the other sheriffs as well,” said Napolitano, as the room erupted in laughter.

“Be more than happy to,” said McCain, who ended his line of questioning and promptly left the hearing, which was halfway finished.

McCain correctly notes that many people who live along the border remain frustrated by the ongoing troubles related to illegal immigration. But one reason they're frustrated, even though fewer people are crossing, is because the problem has been going on for so long—and until recently, McCain had a much different approach to dealing with the problem. Another reason: The crackdown has brought more criminal elements into the smuggling game and wedded the drug cartels to the coyotes.

McCain's transformation from a lawmaker seeking a comprehensive solution to the border problems into a partisan who wants to exploit the border for political gain is complete.

ETA: Does McCain really have any standing to ask someone else about a change in position?

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