GOP senator floats deal on DACA, legal immigration
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Senators show skepticism over Space Force | Navy drops charges against officers in deadly collision | Trump taps next Navy chief Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal GOP senators introduce bill to reduce legal immigration  MORE (R-Ark.) is floating a deal on undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children in exchange for curbs to legal immigration. 

"It’s trying to take the action that Democrats say they want, which is to give legal status to approximately three-quarters of a million of these people in their 20s and 30s, while also mitigating the consequences of that action," Cotton told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. 
 
He added that, with the Trump administration sunsetting the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months, Democrats should "focus on the art of the possible."
 
Cotton and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) joined President Trump at the White House last month to introduce a bill that would dramatically reduce the amount of legal immigration into the United States. 
 
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He added on Tuesday that he was "pretty optimistic" that they would be able to get a deal on a bill that includes protections for current DACA recipients in exchange for parts of the Cotton-Perdue legislation, known as the RAISE Act.
 
"You know, the Democrats have said for years they want to give legal status to these people. The president says he wants to, but he also knows that we have to control the consequences of that. And there’s a very, like I said, logically coherent, straightforward, relatively small package that can be negotiated here," Cotton said.  
 
The Cotton-Perdue bill has gotten blowback from both Democrats and some Republicans, who argue it can't currently get 60 votes in the Senate. 
 
The administration's decision to phase out DACA adds another item to a jam-packed fall to-do list. Top Republicans, while arguing the Obama administration's actions were illegal, have signaled they think Congress will be able to tackle the issue. 
 
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told a Dallas Morning News reporter that the six-month delay was "an opportunity for the House and Senate to finally solve our immigration [system], and move legislation through."  
 
But leadership could face an uphill climb to getting a broader deal on immigration.
 
White House officials floated using the DACA program to try to strike a larger deal on immigration that would include border wall funding and curbs on legal immigration, according to McClatchy. 
 
But Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2-ranking Senate Democrat, publicly shot down the trade last month, calling it a “nonstarter.”