STATEMENT: New Bipartisan McCain-Coons Immigration Proposal Refocuses DACA Debate on What Is Most Important, Says CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg

Washington, D.C. — Today, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) announced plans to introduce a bipartisan immigration proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, paired with additional border security measures. Their bill is reported to be based on the Hurd-Aguilar House bill introduced last month. Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The McCain-Coons proposal pairs permanent protection for Dreamers with additional border security measures. More than anything, it shows clear bipartisan momentum in both the House and the Senate to deal with the issue at hand—putting Dreamers on a pathway to citizenship—rather than attempting to refashion immigration law to suit the most nativist among us. While I look forward to seeing more details of this proposal, I applaud Sens. McCain and Coons for recognizing the opportunity for consensus and helping refocus the debate on what is most important.

Last month, President Donald Trump said he would sign any bipartisan bill sent to him. Unfortunately, he has walked away from at least three bipartisan proposals for a solution, instead offering a radical immigration framework that would hold Dreamers hostage in order to terrorize immigrant communities from the border to the heartland and reshape our immigration system to change the face of America. His framework is not the solution and was dead on arrival.

This issue is more urgent now than ever: More than 18,500 DACA recipients have already lost their status, and each day that goes by between now and March 5th, some 122 more Dreamers lose their status and face the risk of being deported. Polls consistently show that almost 9 out of 10 Americans, and almost 4 out of 5 Republicans, back congressional action to keep Dreamers in America.  The deadline for Congress to act is now. American families are watching and expect President Trump and Congress to protect Dreamers without further delay.


CAP experts are available to speak on this topic. To coordinate, please contact Elena Gaona at or 202-478-6322.