TUCSON - Despite the chill in relations that followed Mexican President Vicente Fox’s refusal to support U.S. military action against Iraq, Sen. John McCain says the time is right to forge a new immigration accord with Mexico.
McCain, R-Ariz., said during a visit here that the accord should include an amnesty and guest worker program.
‘‘The United States is the strongest nation in the world,’’ McCain said at his office here. ‘‘It is not appropriate for us to seek revenge against people who may have disagreed with us.’’
The lone exception, McCain said, was France.
‘‘The French have declared that they are a counterweight to the United States,’’ he said. ‘‘President Fox has declared that he is a friend of the United States.’’
Working with Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe and other members of the state’s congressional delegation, McCain said he hopes legislation will soon be introduced that addresses immigration in a comprehensive way.
A secure border, he said, can coexist with a program allowing Mexican workers into the United States temporarily to perform jobs that Americans refuse to do.
‘‘We proved in the drug war that as long as there’s a demand for drugs, drugs are going to come across’’ the border, McCain said. ‘‘As long as there’s a demand for workers, workers are going to come across.’’