John McCain has long been a widely respected senator. But his new ad contributes to concerns that the conversation on immigration in the United States is growing more polarized and less productive.
Senator McCain used to have moderate views on immigration. In 2006, he joined forces with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy to propose immigration reform.
He used to say that immigrants were “God’s children,” that they enriched our culture and provided needed labor. He used to say that the public expected politicians to work together, across party lines, to secure the borders and solve the country’s immigration problems.
And he said that a fence at the Mexican border was one of the least effective ways to control illegal crossing.
But in this ad, Senator McCain perpetuates the stereotype that most border-crossers are criminals who commit “murder” and “home invasions” against American citizens.
And in conclusion, McCain promises to “complete the danged fence,” as if that were now the only obvious solution to our immigration problems.
At Uniting NC, we’re not here to judge whether or not the fence is a good idea. But we do believe that Senator McCain was right when he said that we are all God’s children and that we should keep that in mind as our nation and our communities discuss immigration.