All McCain has to do is to promise rigorous border security- surely a given in this time of heightened terrorism- and then point out stats like this one. He can claim that the system, when properly motivated, is working.
The Department of Homeland Security, continuing to enforce what it calls a "strict policy of arresting, prosecuting and jailing" illegal immigrants, deported a record number of those caught on the nation's borders last year — more than 280,000 in fiscal year 2007 compared to 186,000 a year earlier.
It was the largest number of illegals ever removed from the country in a single year.
I wonder how many of his critics would come on board with a simple tactic like this one? But, hey, this is John McCain we're talking about, so instead we get this-
On NPR’s “Morning Edition” today, John McCain suggested that strong anti-immigrant rhetoric contributed to two recent, high-profile GOP Congressional losses – of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who badly lost to Sen. Bob Casey in 2006, and Jim Oberweis, who lost the heavily Republican seat of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert this month in a special election.
"I know that there have been some races, like here in Pennsylvania, where Senator Santorum emphasized that issue [immigration] and lost by a large number,” McCain said on NPR.
Genius, John, just genius- keep trying to antagonise the Republican base which is in favour of law and order (they're called illegal aliens for a reason). That'll really help come November.