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McCain ends Latin American visit in Mexico City

July 4, 2008 | 10:48 am


During his visit to Mexico this week, John McCain reiterated his support for allowing more immigrant workers to enter the United States on a temporary basis. But he said broad immigration reform should come only after the U.S. government has tightened the border adequately, including by building fences, reports the L.A. Times' Ken Ellingwood from Mexico City.

Migration is a big issue in Mexico, the main source of undocumented immigrant labor to the United States. Mexican migrants in the United States sent home about $24 billion in remittances last year.

"We must have comprehensive immigration reform, but the American people want our borders secured first," McCain said.

McCain's visit to Mexico, seen by some commentators here largely as a play for Latino votes in the United States (as was reported in La Plaza yesterday), came as the Calderon government has pursued a crackdown on drug trafficking. That crackdown will receive additional funding from the recent U.S-approved Merida Initiative aid package, which McCain also praised during his trip.

Click here to read Ellingwood's full report on McCain's visit.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: Sen. John McCain gets a blessing from Msgr. Diego Monroy Ponce at the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City as McCain’s wife, Cindy, looks on. The basilica, built where a 16th century Indian peasant described a vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe, holds strong symbolism for Latino voters; credit: L.M. Otero / Associated Press.