McCain calls deportation policy change 'politically motivated'

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McCain's statement came in response to the Obama administration's announcement Friday that it would stop deporting young immigrants living in the country illegally as long as they meet certain criteria.

"Immigration reform is an important and complex issue that deserves a debate among the American people and in Congress," McCain said in a statement Friday. "Today’s announcement by President Obama is a politically motivated power grab that does nothing to further the debate but instead adds additional confusion and uncertainty to our broken immigration system."

McCain noted that the announcement came during the 2012 presidential election season.

"Further, I find it interesting that after promising to enact comprehensive reform in the first year of his Presidency, the President chose to make this announcement in the middle of his heated re-election campaign," McCain continued.

The Hispanic vote will likely be a highly coveted constituency in the presidential election. Republicans have said they need strong Hispanic support to do well in the 2012 presidential elections.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is reportedly a top candidate to be Mitt Romney's running mate on the presidential ticket, partially in order to attract Hispanic voters. Rubio is currently crafting legislation that would grant non-immigrant visas to young immigrants living in the country illegally. Unlike a Democrat-backed proposal, though, Rubio's would not offer a pathway to citizenship.

In the statement, McCain also said that Obama should work with Congress to pass serious immigration reform.

"Rather than unilaterally deciding for the American people what they want and how they believe this problem should be addressed, I encourage the President and his Administration to finally reach out to Congress and propose legislation on this important issue," McCain added.