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McCain: Immigration reform will be my top priority

John McCain told a ballroom of Hispanic leaders he'd make immigration reform his "top priority" if elected president.

"I will reach across the aisle again, we will resolve immigration in America, and we will secure our borders," McCain said to applause.

McCain took a leading role in pushing for immigration reform in the Senate, but critics say he began tacking to the right when he campaigned during the Republican primaries and insisted border enforcement has to come first.

He told the crowd that his efforts to overhaul immigration laws failed because "Americans didn't believe we would take care of our national security requirements."

But he pledged to push for "humane and compassionate" immigration reform.

"I come from a border state," he said. "I know these issues."