Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) are proposing legislation that includes citizenship opportunities for more than 1.8 million Dreamers, but does not include funding for the border wall or address chain migration, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“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,” says McCain, a Navy vet and former POW who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. “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.”
President Trump has already called this a non-starter, and Speaker Ryan has stated that the House would not support it.
In addition to providing citizenship opportunities for all Dreamers who have lived in the US since December 2013, McCain’s proposal calls for a study to determine exactly what border security measures we need and allocates $110 million to the DHS each year for the next five years. The money would be used to “improve coordination between border-patrol agents and state and local law-enforcement officials,” reports the WSJ.
The bill falls painfully short of Trump’s demands, which include significant boosts to ICE, limits on chain migration, and $25 billion for the border wall. If Trump reacts to this proposal, it will be an angry response.
The real purpose of McCain’s bill is to end the frustrating DACA negotiations and to move forward with a spending package before temporary funding runs out on February 9th. His proposal is almost identical to a measure introduced by Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) and Will Hurd (R-TX), which has support from 27 Republicans and 27 Democrats in the House.
Congress has one month to determine the fate of Dreamers. If they fail to pass a bill, Dreamers will be vulnerable to Immigration and Customs Enforcement starting March 5th.
The impasse led to a three-day government shutdown in January, during which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed to bring a DACA bill to the floor by February 8th as long as the government stays funded.
“There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we’re working every single day,” complains Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I don’t see a government shutdown coming, but I do see a promise by Senator McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate.”
Editor’s note: While McCain’s proposal has little chance of being considered, his lack of vision in this matter is telling. McCain is career politician with no leadership experience. The linkage of the DACA resolution and improved border security solves serious issues on both sides. McCain’s bill does not provide a solution but it does provide the Democrats the idea that Repubicans are not united and may crack. And it provides them with a new streams of rhetoric that will make it more difficult to push through the Republican agenda. Stupid.