Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and John McCain, R-Arizona, introduced legislation Feb. 5 to address Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and border security, providing a path to resolve these important immigration issues and allowing Congress to devote full attention to finalizing a budget deal that fully funds the military and domestic programs.
The McCain-Coons legislation is a Senate companion bill to the Uniting and Securing America Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas-23, and Pete Aguilar, D-California-31, to protect Dreamers from deportation and provide a pathway to citizenship while implementing new border security measures. The USA Act has 54 co-sponsors in the House — an even split of 27 Republicans and 27 Democrats.
“It’s no secret that Congress is gridlocked, and there is a growing list of unaddressed issues we simply have to fix, but I still believe that we agree on more than we disagree on,” said Coons. “The bill I’m introducing with Sen. McCain today doesn’t solve every immigration issue, but it does address the two most pressing problems we face: protecting DACA recipients and securing the border. I believe there is bipartisan support for both of those things, and I believe that we can reach a budget deal that increases funding for our military and important domestic programs. We need to find a way through this gridlock to get Congress working again, and this is a viable path forward.”
“I have been and remain very encouraged by the bipartisan negotiations toward an immigration compromise that Sens. Collins and Manchin have hosted through the Common Sense Coalition, and I plan to continue working with that group to try and find a way forward. The purpose of the legislation I’m introducing today with Sen. McCain is to highlight this existing, bipartisan House bill and to add another viable, bipartisan option to the table,” said Coons.