An anti-immigration group is targeting U.S. Sen John McCain, R-Ariz., for his efforts to overhaul immigration. (Photo : Reuters)
With the debate on immigration reform rapidly gaining traction in Washington, proponents and opponents on both sides have been mobilizing to champion their respective efforts.
In the latest such case, a group that opposes immigration reform is targeting U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., through an ad campaign attacking the former presidential candidate's most recent efforts to help pass a bill bringing about comprehensive immigration reform.
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The group, Californians for Population Stabilization, have been running ads in Arizona television, radio and online, according to the Arizona Republic. And it hasn't been a cheap campaign either, with the group spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ads, which accuse McCain of trying to undercut American workers by giving away jobs to immigrants.
"This is an S.O.S. from the people of California to our neighbors in Arizona: Save our state. Your senator John McCain wants to bring in millions of workers to take our jobs," the voice-over in the ad says. "He wants more green cards. And amnesty for millions illegal aliens, giving access to Social Security benefits paid for by all of us."
McCain is part of the bipartisan Senate panel that is working-and reportedly close to-a deal on immigration that would grant a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who live inside the nation's borders, while improving the security at the border.
A similar campaign was recently aired in North Carolina by NumbersUSA, another group opposing immigration reform efforts, against Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is also part of the bipartisan panel. However, those efforts have been countered by Republican Super PAC groups who have launched their own campaign supporting McCain's efforts on immigration overhaul.
As the debate on immigration reform continues, more high-profile Republicans have been forced to reconsider their positions on overhauling immigration laws; the November election losses that the GOP suffered with Latino voters at the ballot boxes have given Republicans incentive to wish to reach out to Latinos via the immigration reform.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., explained his position on immigration reform on Tuesday in a speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"I think the conversation needs to start by acknowledging we aren't going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants," said Paul. "If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you."
Notably, Paul did not use the word "citizenship" in his speech, but did call for expanding visas for high-tech workers and issuing "entrepreneurial" visas while discussing the need to secure to the border as a prerequisite to giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.
Paul has been one of the Republicans in January who pushed his party to reach out to Hispanic voters and for the GOP to "evolve" on their stance on immigration reform, which most Republicans have opposed for years.