McCain Still Out of Touch on Immigration

John_McCain_-_Guard_Association_of_the_United_States_General_ConferenceYesterday, pro-amnesty Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) demonstrated that he is still out of touch on the immigration issue. In an interview with inside-the-beltway publication CQ Roll Call, the Gang of Eight Senator claimed it will be “extremely difficult” for Republicans to win the White House without passing “comprehensive” immigration reform.

Yet, the facts simply do not support that assertion. As FAIR pointed out back in 2013 that Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” statement did not cost him the 2012 election, Republicans have an immigration problem and amnesty won’t solve it. Thanks to the 1965 rewrite of our immigration laws orchestrated by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the U.S. now brings in individuals who are less-educated, less-skilled, and low income. Unsurprisingly, these individuals—when they become citizens—tend to vote for candidates who support robust social welfare programs. Not exactly the bread and butter of the GOP platform.

The presidential polling data reflects the fact that Hispanic immigrants overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic candidate regardless of the Republican candidate’s immigration position. While Mitt Romney famously won “only” 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, pro-amnesty McCain garnered just 31%–or a mere 4 percentage points more than the supposedly anti-immigrant Romney. Indeed, if amnesty was the key to locking up the Hispanic vote, George H.W. Bush should have won an enormous share during the 1988 presidential election two years after Reagan’s amnesty. Instead, Bush took just 30% of the Hispanic vote, a 7% decrease from Reagan’s 37% during his 1984 reelection in which he won 49 of 50 states.

The Republicans likely need to expand their voter base if they want to compete in national elections; amnesty simply is not the golden ticket claimed by some.

avatar About Robert Law

Robert joined FAIR in 2013. As Director, he manages the Government Relations team and establishes FAIR’s legislative agenda. He builds and maintains relationships with Capitol Hill staff and assists in drafting true immigration reform legislation. He advises other FAIR departments on legislative and executive branch developments to coordinate messaging to advance FAIR’s goals. Robert brings to FAIR his legal background and government relations experience.


  1. avatar Cici says:

    I’ll never forget the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill (although, of course, they used a euphemism) and what McCain said to an audience member in the 2008 campaign for President. That person asked him how many homes he had. McCain, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

  2. avatar Richard Harris says:

    Republicans, if they want to win, need to get the 4 million conservatives who stayed home last time, out to vote. Supporting the building of a wall will get those 4 million conservatives out to vote.

  3. avatar Andrew C says:

    It is time to vote Johnny Boy out of office Arizona. He is out of touch with the citizens of this country and taxpayers. It is time to show him the door next election. If he wants amnesty, Let Johnny Boy move to Mexico.

  4. avatar Nima says:

    We are legal immigrants that stood in line and went through the process. Referring to illegal immigrants as just plain “immigrants” is a slap in the face to the millions like us who did it the correct way. I don’t think Trump is against “immigration”. He just wants some control over the chaos; about time someone showed respect for this country’s laws.

  5. avatar KenSays says:

    One thing you can be sure of is that McCain is NOT out of touch – he is digging in and stuffing his pockets until we push him out the door – McCain go home and count your money and support some more RINOs and DEMs.

  6. avatar bruce trietsch says:

    Just feel that the establishment will be pushing all their agenda 21 legislation through before the American people actually remove them from office. Hope the next President has the power to reverse the damage.

    • McCain’s lunacy on amnesty is going to cost him re-election. The American people are tired of one group of people able to ignore Federal law. Tired of housing, feeding, medicating, and educating them with OUR tax dollars. Tired of the gang-members, rapists, drug-dealers, and murderers let into our communities by a group of politicians and C.E.O.’s whose number one priority is filling their pockets and gaining more power. They are in essence telling us citizens, “we don’t care what you want, it’s what we want that counts”. They live in their gated-communities with their armed guards and cameras watching their property so they don’t have to deal with the illegals personally.

  7. avatar bagster53 says:

    how about enforcing our voting laws , that will fix the problem , illegals and ex cons won’t be allowed to vote, like the law says , and amnesty is not immigration reform , has nothing to do with our immigration system, that would work if they used it, oboma wants to turn the u.s. into a 3rd world garbage disposal , and as you see every day the freak stays in office the more violance is rising

  8. avatar FrederickParrilla says:


    • No one here cares what you think Parrilla. Obviously you are another that thinks all Hispanics should be able to break our laws and suck the social-services dry. YOU have a long way to go. Your race-card doesn’t work here in America, it’s worn-out, over-played, and falling apart. This is about OBEYING IMMIGRATION LAWS! GET IT?

      • avatar No Change says:

        William Matthes Sir YOU ARE OUT OF TOUCH!!!…..Frederick is correct………you are a one way street way of thinking…….you will see in the elections and learn something in your lifetime

  9. avatar Kyle says:

    If he only had a brain!

  10. avatar Leland says:

    Absolutely correct. Reagan signed an amnesty in 1986, and his VP George H.W. Bush supported it. It got him 30% of the Latino vote in 1988. The Democrats are never going to let the Republicans out promise them on amnesty and most Latinos are going to vote for the massive federal programs that the Democrats put in place and Latinos favor. McCain is a low watter. Here’s a guy who struggled for many years to win the presidency and then threw it all away with his rash selection of a woman for VP who the vast majority of the electorate saw as utterly unqualified for the job.

    • avatar No Change says:

      That is the GOP story…they are all out of touch including Trump, not just McCain.

      • Guess you gave up on B.O.’s “hope and change” and now you’re “no change”. YOU are the one out of touch if you like Obama-bin-lyin or Killary!

        • avatar No Change says:

          William Matthews you should have finished high school and contribute to our land…………, comprehend and understand English……………I never said what you said…my answer was to Leland…..which is true… you must be 50+ years old and obsolete from the looks of your answer…..if you understand English,,,why? jumped… guns….

      • avatar Leland says:

        How is Trump out of touch? He says laws need to be obeyed and if you are here illegally you should go. Just like every other nation does, including Mexico and the Central American countries. He also said, before Hillary said it, that the 12 nation TPP “free trade” deal being proposed is nothing but another bad pact that will cost American workers jobs, as all the others have.

        • avatar No Change says:

          Leland everybody knows what trump says….exactly what Trump says..but the man has no brains to do what he says………….You want to bet?………………well let see if what he say he will do if he wins the elections……….the guy is a clown…..

          9/11 happened in Bush’s watch DUH!!!>?? really?…..there was also day and night that day!!!……..Had I been the president I would have built a wall and 9/11 would have never happened REALLY!!!>.. the guy is old and senile….and tooooooooooooo set in his ways……he thinks because he is the boss in his business whatever he says goes………….that is one of the many details does show the man is incompetent…………..!!!! as simple as that…….

          • avatar No Change says:

            a fish out of the water when it comes to the presidency and run a country…….especially the US

          • avatar No Change says:

            So Leland…Trump does not know what he is saying…..he just says it because it is all about MARKETING…..say what is hot everybody avoids…….and the silly monkeys will follow……….

            Marco Rubio is finished….the GOP has no candidates, they are old and cooked..retire them all…the Democrats no candidates either but at least they r not stupid to burn themselves……