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On August 25, Republican Senator and immigrant advocate, John McCain, died of an aggressive brain cancer.

John McCain: Why do immigrants will remember him fondly?

On Saturday, August 25, Republican Senator John McCain, 81 years old, died after resigning his treatment for an aggressive brain cancer he fought for more than twelve months.

Leer en español: John McCain: ¿por qué los inmigrantes lo recordarán con cariño?

His defense to immigrants

Since 2007, McCain has been in charge of promoting and defending a comprehensive immigration plan facing the right wing of his own Republican Party. However, according to Univisión, in 2008 the senator put his eyes on the presidential elections and bad advice led him to say that he would vote against his own immigration bill to win over his Party.

Despite this contradiction, in 2013 the senator declared that Republicans could not afford to lose the Hispanic vote that Obama snatched from them in the presidential elections. Thus, along with seven other senators, he initiated a process that sought to grant a Green Card, or residence permit, to those 11 million people who were estimated to live illegally in the United States.

For this, the interested ones would have to register in a federal system, pay taxes corresponding to all the years they had lived in the country and get an authorization to live and work temporarily. The measure was buried in the House of Representatives because the then leader of the Republican majority, John Boehner, refused even to submit it to debate.

But McCain did not give up. Ali Noorani, executive director of the "National Immigration Forum", recalled in an opinion column the struggle of McCain in 2016 for the extension of a "Special Immigrant Visa program" (SIVs), which allowed entry into the United States of Iraqi and Afghan immigrants who supported U.S. troops in that combat zone.

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"McCain knew how to correct his mistakes and claimed responsibility by joining senators of both parties. His firm and eloquent opposition to Trump's insults and attacks on democracy means that McCain's physical loss leaves a void that no one will be able to fill," Federico DeJesús, a Democratic strategist, told La Opinión.

His hard illness forced him to leave the Senate since December, but from home he continued criticizing and attacking some decisions of Trump' s administration, including the separation of families on the southern border. That policy "is an affront to the decency of the American people and contrary to the principles and values ​​on which this nation was founded. The administration has the power to override this policy and must do so now," McCain said in June 2018.

The animosity between Trump and McCain was such that, after learning the seriousness of his case, the senator said he did not want Trump at his funeral. A few hours later was released a statement from the White House that explains that the president of the United States "will not attend the funeral parlor in honor of Senator John McCain, who died two days ago after fighting brain cancer."

"Much will be written about him, but Senator McCain will be remembered by the 'dreamers' and activists as a voice of leadership and reason for immigration, and hopefully his legacy can force the Senate to finally pass the immigration reform and rekindle the spark of the American Dream for generations to come," said César Vargas, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition.

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Baéz

Translated from "John McCain: ¿por qué los inmigrantes lo recordarán con cariño?"

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