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Senator McCain Notes Illegal Alien Arsonists
Good for Senator John McCain (something I donâ€™t say very often) for stating out loud that many of Arizonaâ€™s destructive wildfires have been started by illegal aliens.
Interestingly, wildfires often occur along the invadersâ€™ favorite routes, as noted in the June 15 Arizona Star, Another major fire in a smuggling corridor.
However, the cause of border-area fires is a topic that the irresponsible mainstream media has been loath to discuss, an omission that mirrors their disinterest in illegal alien crime generally. On June 3, Katz Journalism Award winner Leo Banks mentioned that squeamishness during his acceptance speech, noting, â€śThe local media has covered it as a fire, extensively, which they should. They donâ€™t cover it as part of the border war.â€ť (Watch the video or read the transcript of the CIS event).
So itâ€™s a good thing that McCain is piping up about the illegal alien cause of many wildfires in Arizona and other border states.
McCain blames some Arizona wildfires on illegal immigrants, CNN, June 19, 2011
(CNN) â€” U.S. Sen. John McCain is blaming illegal immigrants for starting some of the wildfires that have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in Arizona.
â€śThere is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,â€ť McCain, R-Arizona, said Saturday at a press conference. â€śThe answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.â€ť
The Arizona senator, however, did not say what the evidence is, prompting a swift rebuke from Latino civil rights advocates.
â€śItâ€™s easier to fan the flames of intolerance, especially in Arizona,â€ť said Randy Parraz, a civil rights advocate who ran unsuccessfully against McCain as a Democratic candidate in 2010.
Parraz called McCainâ€™s remarks â€ścareless and recklessâ€ť but not entirely surprising given the political climate in Arizona. The Latino advocate is co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, a group trying the recall the legislator who authored the stateâ€™s controversial anti-illegal immigration law.
Parraz said McCain â€śshould know betterâ€ť than to make such an accusation without presenting any facts.
McCain said that illegal immigrants set such fires either to send signals, keep warm or distract law enforcement agents. But he did not specify which fires allegedly had been started by illegal immigrants, nor did he identify his sources or provide details of the â€śsubstantialâ€ť evidence he cited.
Firefighters are currently battling five wildfires that have burned a combined 732,427 acres in Arizona, according to InciWeb, an online interagency database that tracks fires, floods and other disasters. The fires are under investigation and suspects have not been named. However, local media outlets have reported anecdotal cases of fires breaking out in areas where illegal immigrants have been known to cross the border.
Parraz said it is particularly distressing that immigrants are being blamed for destructive fires at a time when many are also being targeted given the stateâ€™s unemployment, foreclosure and other economic issues.
â€śPeople are looking for someone to blame,â€ť he said, claiming it is too easy and convenient to target what he called one of Arizonaâ€™s â€śmost vulnerable populations.â€ť
Angelo Falcon, the president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, criticized McCain for what he called â€śincreasingly blatantâ€ť political opportunism.
â€śThe degree of irresponsible political pandering by Sen. McCain has no limits,â€ť Falcon said in an email to CNN. â€śWith the lack of evidence, he might as well also blame aliens from outer space for the fires.â€ť