McCain, Coons to introduce new immigration bill that omits wall funding

BY JULIA MANCHESTER

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) will introduce immigration legislation on Monday in an effort to reach a budget deal before the federal government’s current funding runs out on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The bipartisan piece of legislation provides recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, commonly known as “Dreamers,” an opportunity for citizenship while ordering a study to figure out what border security measures are needed, according to the Journal.

DACA aimed to protect from deportation certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children.

Senate aides told the Journal that the plan would provide people who have resided in the U.S. since Dec. 31, 2013, with legal status and a path to citizenship.

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The Journal reported that the legislation is similar to House legislation introduced by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Pete Aguilar(D-Calif.).

 

“It’s time we end the gridlock so we can quickly move on to completing a long-term budget agreement that provides our men and women in uniform the support they deserve,” McCain said in a statement to the Journal on Sunday.

“While reaching a deal cannot come soon enough for America’s service members, the current political reality demands bipartisan cooperation to address the impending expiration of the DACA program and secure the southern border,” he continued.

The legislation reportedly does not contain immediate funding for the U.S. southern border wall, however, which was one of President Trump‘s key demands, and is likely to draw the ire of some Republicans.

The plan would also provide more people with a path to citizenship and legal status than Trump’s original plan did.

The White House announced last month that the president would endorse a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young immigrants in exchange for border wall funding and sweeping changes to the immigration system.

The federal government shut down for three days in January after Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach a deal on a government spending bill.

Democrats said they would not support the measure because it did not include a solution to DACA, which Trump moved to end last year.

The Hill has reached out to the offices of McCain and Coons for comment.

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