Trump Swats Down McCain-Coons Immigration Proposal

Would offer path to citizenship for Dreamers, but leaves out immediate funding for border wall

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is set to introduce legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump shot down an immigration proposal that is expected to be unveiled by Sens. John McCain and Chris Coons to solve the impasse over undocumented childhood arrivals.

The legislation would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children with their parents and would also provide money for border security measures. 

It is also aimed at breaking the logjam over funding the government. While lawmakers expect to pass a short-term spending plan to avoid another government shutdown, what to do with so-called “Dreamers” has become part of the funding debate.

But it wouldn’t provide immediate funding for a wall to be built along the border with Mexico, a key part of Trump’s agenda.

The legislation is a partner piece to a measure in the House introduced by Reps. Will Hurd, a Republican from Texas, and Pete Aguilar, a Democrat from California, that more than 50 Democratic and Republican members have signed onto.

But Trump seemed to reject the proposal in a Monday morning tweet, saying he would reject any proposal that does not include a border wall, which McCain and Coons’ proposal does not include, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Still, the proposal would fund a comprehensive study of which border security measures are most needed.

“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,” McCain said in a statement.

The Arizona Republican thanked Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, for his work on legislation.

Coons said the bill “doesn’t solve every immigration issue, but it does address the two most pressing problems we face: protecting DACA recipients and securing the border.”

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