Skip to content
June 20th, 2011
Grijalva Condemns McCain Statement Accusing Undocumented Immigrants of Causing Arizona Forest Fires – Still No Evidence Offered

Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.– Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva today condemned statements from Sen. John McCain accusing undocumented immigrants of causing the recent wildfires in Arizona, one of which has burned more than 200,000 acres. McCain claimed at a weekend press conference, “There is considerable evidence that some of the fires have been caused by illegal border crossers.”

As CNN noted in its coverage of the statement, “McCain said that illegal immigrants set such fires either to send signals, keep warm or distract law enforcement agents. But he did not specify which fires allegedly had been started by illegal immigrants, nor did he identify his sources or provide details of the ‘substantial’ evidence he cited.”

“The atmosphere in Arizona is as toxic as I have ever seen it as a member of Congress,” Grijalva said. “Every misfortune is blamed on undocumented immigrants.Senator McCain’s comments continue to provoke an extreme anti-immigrant and anti-Latino atmosphere in Arizona. This level of intolerance has reached a new low.”

Grijalva noted that the U.S. Forest Service has “already refuted Sen. McCain’s baseless accusation.” As reported by ABC News, among others, Forest Service spokesman Tom Berglund said there was no evidence to support McCain’s accusation: “Absolutely not, at this level. There’s no evidence that I’m aware, no evidence that’s been public, indicating such a thing.”

Back To News