Latino groups demand apology from McCain on earlier comments about likely cause of Arizona wildfire–he refuses

In the wake of the arrest of two Americans, U.S. Senator John McCain is under fire today for his refusal to apologize for speculating earlier that Arizona’s Willow fire had been caused by illegal immigrants.

McCain’s office has told the press he won’t apologize and say his earlier remarks were not specific to this fire but merely that perhaps illegal immigrants cause fires.

A release from the National Tequila Party sums the situation up thusly:

In June 2011, Arizona Senator John McCain inappropriately blamed the Arizona fire blazes on “illegal” immigrants, and he has failed to apologize even though there was no factual evidence the fires were started by immigrants. New information has come full circle where we learnt two “legal” Arizona citizens face federal charges of leaving an unattended campfire that sparked the massive Wallow Fire this summer.

We insist that Senator McCain apologize for blaming the fires on immigrants because the hate climate in Arizona is flagrant. If McCain apologizes, it would send a positive message to the nation that native born Americans commit crimes, too, and we cannot and must not continue to blame undocumented immigrants and use them as scapegoats in an unjust manner. Hate crimes have increased 125% in Phoenix alone over the past few years, and this data should encourage McCain to do the right thing.

If McCain still has trouble apologizing for his ill chosen statement, we hope he will swallow his pride chased by a shot of Tequila which could only help us reverse the hate-filled climate in Arizona.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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