McCain: Illegals Behind Some Arizona Wildfires
He says there is 'substantial evidence' of this ... but doesn't share the evidence
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2011 2:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – John McCain knows exactly who to blame for a number of the fires that have blazed through his state: illegal immigrants. At a press conference yesterday, McCain explained that "there is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally." He did not, however, give any examples of said evidence, or specify which fires illegal immigrants allegedly started. But he did share the solution for wiping out some of these destructive fires: "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border."

"They have set fires because they want to signal others, they have set fires to keep warm, and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents from them," he explained. His comments weren't too well received by Latino civil rights advocates, reports CNN. "It's easier to fan the flames of intolerance, especially in Arizona," said one of McCain's "careless and reckless" remarks. Says another, "With the lack of evidence, he might as well also blame aliens from outer space for the fires." CNN notes that local media have reported "anecdotal cases" of fires starting in areas known to be border-crossing spots favored by illegal immigrants.