According to MSNBC, McCain went on the news network's morning show, Morning Joe, with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer to champion an immigration deal that has strong Democratic and Republican support.
Immigration reform has always been a pressing issue for McCain, who also championed immigration reform bills in 2007 before it was shot down by conservative voters and lobbyist. McCain told the Morning Joe crew that this is a different time and that he believes the reform package has a strong chance of passing through Congress. He told Morning Joe:
I think one of the big factors is the polarization of the Hispanic vote and the realization amongst Republicans that when a Democratic candidate gets 71% of the vote, you can do the math and see the party's descent towards irrelevancy or failure to win an election. We can't have 11 million people living in the shadows.
McCain and Schumer has caught a lot of bitterness from critics of immigration reform, but both men attempted to calm the critics by reaffirming the bill is not an amnesty law. Schumer told Morning Joe:
We do provide a path to citizenship, but it's not a path to citizenship that's easy. You have to work, you have to pay taxes, there's going to be a fine, you have to admit wrongdoing. It's not amnesty in any sense of the word.
We will and already are reaching across the capital. I think Republicans realize the realities of the 21st century and there will be some difficulties and it's a long hard path, but I'm confident, frankly, in the long path that we'll succeed.