For the first time Arizona Senator John McCain has said that he would support a programme of immigration reform that would deport illegals.
The senator has been radicalizing his views recently, with some commentators suggesting that his new hard-line immigration stance is an attempt to please the right-wing voters who could secure his close primary race.
"No amnesty. Many of them need to be sent back," McCain said during an interview on KQTH-FM in Tuscon when describing how he would deal with illegal U.S. residents.
He also told Congressional newspaper The Hill that he was against any plan that would give illegal immigrants a path to becoming residents, although added that he wasn’t opposed to guest worker programs.
"If we get the border secured, then a temporary legal worker program has to be part of it," he told the station.
The new controversial Arizona immigration laws kick in on July 29th. The US Justice Department has already said it will bring a lawsuit against the State alleging that the laws are unconstitutional.
The new legislation will make it compulsory for immigrants to carry documentation showing their status in the US. It also allows law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if the police have "reasonable suspicion" that the personal is an illegal immirgant.
The senator also wants companies who employ illegals to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Critics have noted a stark change in McCain’s outlook on immigration. Back in 2007 McCain co-sponsored legislation with Senator Edward Kennedy that included a path to legalization
McCain also went on to attack the hard right wingers during the interview: "Anything short of rounding up 12 million people and deporting them is called amnesty by the opponents of this legislation,” he told the radio station.