McCain pushes for NYC terror suspect to be interrogated as enemy soldier

Nov 1, 2017, 11:25 AM | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 3:41 pm
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon on C...

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has advocated for the suspect in a deadly terror incident in New York City to be held and interrogated as an enemy soldier.

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was accused of killing at least eight people and injuring 12 more after he allegedly drove a rented Home Depot truck down a New York City bike path for the equivalent of about 14 blocks on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, McCain advocated for Saipov to be “held and interrogated — thoroughly, responsibly, and humanely — as an enemy combatant consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict.”

“He should not be read Miranda Rights, as enemy combatants are not entitled to them,” he said. “As soon as possible, the administration should notify Congress how it plans to proceed with the interrogation and trial of this suspect.”

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said federal officials consider Saipov as an enemy combatant but did not say how they will treat him yet.

McCain also renewed the call for comprehensive immigration reform after it was found that Saipov entered the country through a limited visa program.

The Department of Homeland Security told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Saipov entered the country in 2010 through a diversity visa program, a 20-year-old program that offers a limited number of visas to people from parts of the world with few immigrants in the U.S.

In the statement, McCain pushed Congress to “come together to devise and pass legislation to fully and humanely reform our broken immigration system and secure the homeland.”

McCain said he, along with fellow Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, advocated to end the program three years ago as part of the Gang of Eight bill, a broad bipartisan bill aimed at overhauling U.S. immigration laws. The bill passed in the Senate, but not the House.

“I agree with criticisms of the Diversity Visa Program, which is why I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in 2013 to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate that would have eliminated this program and replaced it with a merit-based system.”

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McCain pushes for NYC terror suspect to be interrogated as enemy soldier