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Latino Daily News

Tuesday June 21, 2011

Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration

Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration

Photo: Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration.

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As firefighters in Arizona battle the raging wildfires, U.S. Senator John McCain is pointing the finger at illegal immigration as the cause of the ongoing fires that have left so many without homes, and immigration advocates have had enough.

It would appear that Sen. McCain was attempting to keep the flame lit under the hot topic of immigration when, during a press conference Saturday, he stated that “there is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who crossed out border illegally.”

McCain went on to say that the fires he alleges were started by immigrants were used as a way of communicating with other immigrants, and not just to provide warmth and a means of preparing food.

“They have set fires because they want to signal others,” said McCain. “They have set fires to keep warm and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them.”

He added that securing the border would serve as a preventative measure for future fires.

Despite Sen. McCain’s claims, Sunday, a U.S. Forest Service official told CNN that while it is believed that an “escaped campfire” was responsible for at least one of the wildfires, there is no reason to believe illegal immigrants were the cause.

McCain’s comments angered a number of Latino leaders, including Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, who wrote a letter to CNN with his view on the matter.

“The degree of irresponsible political pandering by Sen. McCain has no limits,” Falcon wrote. “With the lack of evidence, he might as well also blame aliens from outer space for the fires.”