Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he doesn’t believe there will be a legislative challenge this Congress in the upper chamber to President Obama’s Friday order to stop some immigration enforcement, noting that the Senate agenda is too full.
“It would have to be challenged in court,” McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “…But also, the fact is that Marco Rubio and others have been working on a DREAM Act. If the president was really serious maybe he would call him and some of us who have been involved in this issue.”
Host David Gregory asked the senator if he could blame Obama for not moving on comprehensive immigration reform since the beginning of his presidency as “the Republican Party moved to the right on this issue and made that impossible.”
“I can if you have 60 votes in the United States Senate and overwhelming majority in the House for the first two years of your presidency. No matter what the position of the Republican Party was,” McCain said. “So, I think that this is obviously a way to divert attention from very bad news the President’s had for the last three or four weeks. I think that’s very clear.”
The senator asserted that stalls on immigration reform came from the left as well as the right.
“Those Democrats controlled by the labor unions who said that they did not want and fought against a guest worker program, which we felt was obviously something vitally important,” McCain said.
Senior White House adviser David Plouffe said the administration is “absolutely confident” that the new policy on deferring action against young, student illegal immigrants will stand up to any challenges.
“It wasn’t about politics. First of all, this was a decision made by the Homeland Security Department to allow them the discretion to focus our enforcement on criminals, people who pose danger to the communities,” Plouffe said. “…The Homeland Security attorneys say it’s well within our boundaries to do.”