Arizona Sen. John McCain is re-entering the immigration debate with a bipartisan plan that would end the standoff over permanent legal status for DACA recipients while shelving President Donald Trump’s border wall, according to a news report Sunday night.
McCain, a Republican, and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware will unveil a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and require a study of border-security needs, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The bill would drop most of Trump’s “four pillars” proposal, including $25 billion for the border wall and other security measures.
It’s not clear whether the 81-year-old McCain, who has received treatment for his brain cancer in Arizona since mid-December, will return to Washington, D.C., for the bill’s unveiling.
Congress faces two looming deadlines: The government is set to shut down at midnight Thursday if a short-term spending bill isn’t passed.
Senate Democrats agreed to end the brief government shutdown late last month after they obtained a pledge from Republican leadership to take up DACA legislation if a deal isn’t reached by Thursday.
The DACA program is set to phase out starting March 5, just 29 days away. Hundreds of thousands of recipients would lose their protection from deportation as their permits expire.
The McCain-Coons bill would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country since Dec. 31, 2013, according to the Journal report.
McCain and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake were at the center of Congress’ last major piece of immigration legislation, the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill five years ago.
Four Republican and four Democratic senators proposed a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. It won overwhelming approval in the Senate but never got a hearing in the Republican-controlled House.