GOP senator: Senate to take up DACA bill in January
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's move to halt family separations leaves questions unanswered Flake: Trump has 'unfortunately' redefined Republican Party Flake: Trump's attacks on Democrats 'bothersome,' unhelpful in immigration debate MORE (R-Ariz.) is predicting that the Senate will take up a fix for a key Obama-era immigration program next month, punting the issue into 2018.

"Bipartisan #DACA bill will be on the Senate floor in January," Flake tweeted, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Flake is part of a bipartisan group of senators who have been negotiating over legislation that would tie a fix for DACA to a border security package, but have yet to lock down an agreement.

A spokesperson for Flake didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about if, or when, the GOP senator would unveil legislation, given his prediction of floor action in January.

A spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFive things to know about efforts to repeal Obama's water rule Mulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Senate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays MORE (R-Ky.) said he didn't have any scheduling announcements yet for January.

The Trump administration announced earlier this year that it would end DACA, which allows immigrants brought into the country as children to work and go to school without fear of deportation.

The move sets up a mid-March deadline to pass a legislative fix or hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. illegally will be at risk of being deported.

Immigration activists and some Democratic lawmakers have demanded that a DACA agreement pass Congress this year as part of a year-end government funding bill — something GOP leadership has been adamant will not happen.

Key senators, who met with White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE on Tuesday, acknowledged that the immigration fight is likely to get kicked to January.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border MORE (R-Texas), asked about the schedule for DACA, told reporters earlier Tuesday that Congress will "turn to it in January."

"We're having meetings, ongoing meetings. ... Several of us are going to be meeting with Gen. Kelly and Customs and Border Protection tonight to talk about what the president will be looking for when he signs a bill," he said.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE (D-Ill.) has pledged to oppose the government funding bill without a DACA fix, but signaled that it appeared unlikely to pass this year.

"Oh it is very, very difficult to imagine that it's done this year," Durbin said.