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McCain on Trump's 'shithole' remark: 'Respect for dignity of every human being is essence of American patriotism'

U.S. Sen. John McCain condemned President Donald Trump's comments about immigrants from "shithole countries," saying Friday that "people have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great."

McCain reacted to Trump's statement, reported Thursday, that we should limit some immigration, and seek more people coming to this country from nations such as Norway.

The president's comments were widely seen as racist.

In contrast to U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who declined to voice disapproval of Trump's words Friday as she declared her own Senate bid — saying she speaks "a little salty behind closed doors and that she's "partnering with the president" on immigration and economic issues — McCain used strong terms to state his disagreement:

Respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism. To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America. People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our president, should respect it.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, also decried Trump's statements.

"Disgusting remarks like these have become all too commonplace for this disgraceful president. With xenophobic, racist rhetoric spewing from the White House at regular intervals, Trump continues to poison national discourse on some of the most important issues facing our nation," he said Friday.

"It should come as no surprise that a man who opened his campaign referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers or stating that African immigrants from Nigeria should 'go back to their huts' would not carry himself with the dignity that behooves the presidency," Grijalva said.

"The individuals from the countries that Trump singled out in his despicable remarks are just as worthy of being included in our nation as those from any other country," Grijalva said. "No matter the bigoted character of his attitudes, statements, and actions, we will never hesitate to stand up for our values and defend the dignity of others."

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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