Senate Republicans will block any immigration reform bill until they're satisfied that borders are secure, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday.
McCain, a longtime proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, said he believed that he and his Arizona colleague, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), could convince their fellow Senate Republicans to oppose an immigration bill for now.
The effect of all 41 Republicans opposing any bill in the Senate would be a de-facto filibuster of any immigration bill.
"I believe that we can convince our Republican colleagues that we have to secure the border first," McCain said during an appearance on KFYI radio in Arizona. "There's no point of having immigration reform unless you can have the borders secure first."
McCain and Kyl had proposed deploying 3,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border yesterday, a move seen as one of the most aggressive to stem the flow of illegal immigrations into the U.S.
The announcement was also seen as a move to the right by McCain, who's facing a conservative primary challenger from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.).
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is working on his own immigration bill, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, led in part by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), ramp up pressure on the administration to move for immigration reform, threatening otherwise to urge Hispanic voters to stay home during this fall's midterm elections.
"I don't really see it going anywhere," McCain said of the Schumer proposal. "Jon Kyl and I will fight against it until the borders are secure."