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Senator McCain Accuses Illegal Immigrants Of Causing Arizona Wildfires

Senator McCain Accuses Illegal Immigrants Of Causing Arizona Wildfires

Fanning the flames of racism in Arizona, Senator John McCain has blamed illegal immigrants for starting some of the wildfires that have torched hundreds of thousands of acres in his state.

The Daily Mail reports that McCain told a press conference on Saturday that there is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally.

The Solution To Wildfires: A Secure Border?

From The Daily Mail:

The Republican senator added: ‘They have set fires because they want to to signal others, they have set firs to keep warm, and they have set fires to divert law enforcement agencies from them.

‘The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border’.

However, Senator McCain was neither able to give any evidence for his charges, nor to name a source.

Strong Reaction From Latino Civil Rights Advocates

Understandably, this provoked a strong reaction from Latino civil rights advocates.

From CNN:

“It’s easier to fan the flames of intolerance, especially in Arizona,” said Randy Parraz, a civil rights advocate who ran unsuccessfully against McCain as a Democratic candidate in 2010.

Parraz called McCain’s remarks “careless and reckless” 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 state’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

Parraz said McCain “should know better” than to make such an accusation without presenting any facts.
(…)
“People are looking for someone to blame,” he said, claiming it is too easy and convenient to target what he called one of Arizona’s “most vulnerable populations.”

The McCain Version? Or The U.S. Forest Service Version?

For a different version of this story, the U.S. Forest Service last Wednesday said that two people have been questioned in connection with an unattended campfire which is believed to have started the Wallow blaze.

As first reported in The Daily Mail, the ‘two persons of interest’ have not been publicly identified and are not under arrest, Forest Service spokesman Christopher Knopp said, declining to give further details of the investigation.

51 Percent Containment Of Wallow Blaze On Sunday

The Wallow blaze, the largest of the Arizona fires, has consumed nearly 800 square miles, a little more than 511,000 acres, and more than 3,500 firefighters have been trying to stop its advance.

It is larger than a 2002 fire that burned 732 square miles and destroyed 491 buildings that had been the largest in state history. Despite its size, the latest fire has destroyed just 32 homes and four rental cabins. Containment rose to 51 per cent Sunday.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 people from 1,700 homes were evacuated Sunday as the Monument blaze, which has been burning for a week, picked up speed with winds gusted up to 60 mph. Sunday’s evacuations brought the total number to about 10,000 people from 4,300 homes forced to flee flames of the Monument fire.

Why Fan The Flames Of Intolerance?

With such a major tragedy unfolding in his home state, why is Senator McCain trying to make matters worse by fanning the flames of intolerance?

Why is he choosing to stir up the racially charged rhetoric in Arizona, playing to the voters’ fears, following the example of Governor Jan Brewer, who famously accused illegal immigrants of murders involving decapitation, a claim that she later retracted?

Come on, Senator McCain. You can do better than that.

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Photo Credit: Soggydan via Creative Commons

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85 comments

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2:50AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

I will believe McCain. But only if he's the illegal alien.

9:01PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Blame it on the scapegoat hey?!

12:49AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

While I find Mr McCain to be extremely distasteful and on a whole, pretty ignorant, I have to concede to him on this one. I've worked in law enforcement in a major city for a long, long time and the effects on our country by the influx of thousands of illegals has been devastating. I have personally witnessed as illegals have gotten what they wanted by any means necessary, whether that be lieing, stealing, manipulating,etc. They have systematically taken jobs from Americans by offering to work for such a low wage that no one could compete. How do they live on so little money you ask? It is very common for illegals to shove 4-6 families in a single family home. Statistics have proven that when illegals move into a neighborhood, the property value plummets and the condition of the property, inside and out goes from attractive and livable to trashy and commonly condemned. Go into any welfare office and you will see illegals with 4-5 kids each and those children are dressed better than any of my children. Why? Because our government is feeding and clothing them which directly takes away from those who rightfully need help. My good friend was in need of assistance and was given a small amount of help and when she asked how she could get more for her and her children, her caseworker said, "have more children & somehow become illegal". Of course she said she would deny that if it was ever repeated but you get the idea. I'm so tired of hearing all the piss poor excuse

11:48AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

Ellen you are one of the few on here that make sense. Most are mis-reading the story to begin with as Senator McCain is not saying all fires are started by Illegals, on inplying that some are started by illegals crossing the border. yes there are other forms of ignition such as lightning, vehicles with their smog control, vacationers (not too many near the border), horses with metal shoes, and I am sure I missed one or two. However, that does leave the most likely source of many fires the illegal alien crossing into America. The odds are great that they are as many of the other souces of fire can be identified and tracked.
I am assuming that most bloggers on this site are not thinking this through or are just haters of McCain. I like McCain, but I do not like all his policies and think he would have been a terrible president, but still a lot better than the idiot we have in the white house today.

2:00AM PDT on Jun 24, 2011

If he has proof of this he should present his findings to the public, otherwise he should keep his trap shut :-(

11:54AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

You mark my words....this is just the beginning. Good thing he screwed up during his campaigning because this could have been our leaderalong with crazy lady. Now thats a scary thought.

10:58AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

He was a silly old bugger when he ran for president and this proves he is STILL a silly old bugger.

8:24AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Jon Stewart Mocks John McCain For Blaming Arizona Wildfires On Illegal Immigrants (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post Katla McGlyn

See John McCain Puppet Video, it is soooo funny!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/jon-stewart-mocks-john-mccain-arizona-wildfires-illegals_n_882819.html


7:22AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Until someone was conficted it should have never been said. Lets get real no one does who did it until some one is charged.

1:15AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Why is the American government promoting hatred against every other group or country? Muslims are labeled terrorists and immigrants are now arsonists. and most of these accusations are assumptions anyway. seems like America needs someone to hate and target to set its direction.

And no American is going to challenge these accusations too. I mean what about forest fires in places and countries that dont have immigration issues? like Australia for example that does not have borders with some other country and there are forest fires there all the time.

Stop believing these politicians hook, line and sinker for God's sake. They just want you distracted to hate some group when your hatred should have been directed at these fools rightfully for taking away social security, education budget cuts, unemployment, more taxes, lack of abortion rights and economic bankruptcy with threats of government shut downs.

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