PHOENIX – Arizona’s largest newspaper criticized U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl and a host of other elected officials in a rare front-page editorial Sunday, saying the politicians have failed to find solutions to illegal immigration.
The state has become the target of calls for boycotts since adopting a law that requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally.
“The federal government is abdicating its duty on the border. Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear,” the Arizona Republic said in a full-page editorial. “The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration.”
Doug MacEachern, an editorial writer for the Republic, said the newspaper has put editorials on the front page over the years but this was the first time one filled the page.
McCain was once a champion of comprehensive immigration reform but has abandoned his principles while he fights off a GOP primary challenge this year from former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, the Republic said.
McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the senator has long believed the U.S. needs to secure the border first, and it’s “not even close to an election year conversion.”
“Sen. McCain has been calling for secure borders for over three years as the violence on the border continues to increase and spill over to our side of the border,” Buchanan said Sunday.
Kyl has also dropped efforts for comprehensive reform and is no longer willing to work with Democrats on the issue now that he’s a member of the Senate Republic leadership, the paper said.
The editorial also named Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.