Guns and immigration dominated the more than hour-long town hall Sen. John McCain hosted today in Tucson.
The Arizona Senator walked into a packed room with more than 150 people in the Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center and talked for about 15 minutes about immigration reform and the bill the Senate passed in June.
“I don’t think that any legislation that is a series of compromises that need to be made is perfect but we now have, for better or for worse, 11 million people who are residing in this country illegally," he said.
“A large majority of them have been here for a long time which in my view that’s de facto amnesty because I don’t believe any of us think we are going to round up 11 million people and send them back to where they came from,” he said.
He went over the general provisions of the bill and said he would be glad “to answer any questions or comments or insults you may have.”
The first comment came from John Green, the father of Christina–Taylor Green, one of six people killed on Jan. 8, 2011 during a constituent meeting with formers U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a Tucson Safeway.
“Thank you first of all, for all of your support. Since we lost Christina you were right there with us,” he said. He asked if they could meet with McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake to talk about “common sense solutions” to background checks.
Other victims of gun violence congratulated and thanked McCain for supporting legislation that would have strengthen background checks for gun sales and asked what they could do to bring attention to the issue. The bill didn’t muster enough votes in the Senate to pass.
McCain took questions for more than an hour that ranged from Obama care to sexual assaults in the military and, before he left, promised to return to South Tucson more often.
For complete details, read tomorrow’s Arizona Daily Star.