McCain Switches Gears on Immigration

Supports crackdown without guest workers, path to citizenship
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2007 5:43 AM CDT
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at Stanford University, Wednesday Aug. 1, 2007 in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – White House hopeful John McCain has pulled a U-turn on immigration reform—backing a new bill which cracks down on illegal immigration and offers no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. McCain had been a champion of a guest worker program and citizenship for many of the 12 million illegal residents, but that position, anathema to the GOP base, alienated campaign donors.

"We can still show the American people that we are serious about securing our nation's border," said McCain, adding that a tough, scaled-down immigration bill is "an essential step" toward future reform. "He recognizes his position on the issue is killing him," one conservative noted.