McCain in 2004: Illegal Immigration ‘Threat to Our National Security’

In a February 10, 2004 letter to a constituent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) sounded a lot different than he does today about illegal immigration. McCain, a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight,” said in the letter almost a decade ago that illegal immigration “represents a threat to our national security.”

“Every year, millions of people enter this country legally, in a monitored and controlled manner,” McCain wrote. “However, an increasing number of people risk their lives to cross our borders illegally. According to U.S. Border Patrol apprehension statistics, it is estimated that almost four million people crossed our borders illegally in 2002.”

Between October 2003 and when McCain wrote this letter in February 2004, he noted, “over 200 people have died, 113 along the Arizona border.”

“Although over 99 percent of the people crossing our borders do not intend to harm Americans, we must be cognizant of the fact that a small number do,” McCain added later in the letter. “As long as we are unable to control and monitor who enters our country and what they bring in, Americans will not be safe.”

“We must establish a system which will allow people seeking work to enter the country in a safe manner, through controlled ports of entry – freeing up federal agents to monitor the border and focus their efforts on the individuals who do pose a potential threat to our national security,” he argued.


Complete text linked here.

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