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Senator McCain negotiating the framework for immigration reform

Senator McCain negotiating the framework for immigration reform

CREATED Feb. 23, 2013

Reporter: Guy Atchley
Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo, Rikki Mitchell

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Arizona Senator John McCain is one of the eight lawmakers negotiating the framework for immigration reform.

And Republicans have made it clear that a prerequisite has to be a secure border.

McCain is willing to give it a definition.

"A secure border is where nine out of 10 who attempt to cross are intercepted at the border," said McCain. "That's true in Yuma today, but certainly not in the Tucson sector."

The question is: how to make that happen? McCain says there's only one way.

"We need to use the technology we've developed in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said. "Surveillance, drones, sensors --that's the only way, frankly, we're going to be able really to attain a secure environment for the ranchers that live in the southern part of our state."

McCain also points out the 40 percent of those here illegally came across the border legally, but then overstayed their visas.

For them, McCain has two words -- no amnesty.

"If there is immigration reform, those people here illegally will have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, make sure there's no criminal records, learn English, learn the Constitution, and get in line behind everyone who has waited in line legally," he says.

This story is part of a KGUN9 On Your Side special called Arizona Border: On The Front Lines.