ports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine,
learn English and go to the back of the line for the
opportunity to become citizens.
“Work with Mexico. Obama believes we need
to do more to promote economic development in
Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.”
ders in an expedited manner. Governors of border
states will be required to certify that the border
McCain said he would make it a federal offense
to hire undocumented workers and would work with
the Department of Homeland Security to prosecute
employers who do so.
ON VETERAN CARE
Among issues key to veterans—and members of the military now—is the amount of time troops spend deployed
compared with the amount of time troops spend at home, in what is called Dwell Time.
Last year, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., proposed a bill in the Senate that would have required troops who are
deployed abroad to have an equal amount of Dwell Time home with their families as they’ve spent in action.
Webb’s proposal, which ultimately failed in the Senate by a 56-to- 44 margin ( 60 votes are needed to move a bill
forward in the Senate), was a direct response to an Army Mental Health Advisory Team survey, which revealed
that military personnel with more than one deployment had much higher rates of acute stress than did troops
who only served one tour, according to a report on the blog
PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within.
The report says the length of deployment and extended
time away from home and family caused the most noncombat stress.
When Webb proposed the bill, McCain said it was constitutionally wrong for Congress to be dictating military policy
while the military was engaged in active combat.
“I know that my friend and fellow veteran, Sen. Jim
Webb, an honorable man who takes his responsibility to veterans very seriously, has offered legislation with very
generous benefits. I respect and admire his position, and I would never suggest that he has anything other than
the best of intentions to honor the service of deserving veterans,” McCain said. “Both Sen. Webb and I are united
in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our
freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept
from Sen. Obama—who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform—any lectures on
my regard for those who did.
“The most important difference between our two approaches is that Sen. Webb offers veterans who served one
enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times,” McCain said. “Our
bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the
veteran’s length of service. I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to
leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting
in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long-overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of
the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Sen. Webb’s bill will reduce retention rates by 16 percent.”
Webb, in an interview last year with CNN, admitted that since it appeared the Bush administration was predicting a long-term presence in Iraq, it was important for troops who would serve multiple deployments to have
as much time at home and abroad. He dismissed charges from his opponents, including McCain, that offering the
time away would deplete the military, as it’s currently constituted.
Obama voted in favor of Webb’s bill.
In discussing veterans’ rights, both have agreed that health-related issues are of utmost importance.
In discussing veterans’
rights, both have agreed that
health-related issues are of
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