Senate Democrats, in response to the new Arizona immigration law that has sparked criticism from both parties, introduced an immigration bill yesterday designed to attract bipartisan support. It makes securing the border the first priority, to be followed by the registration of illegal immigrants, who would pay back taxes and be put on a path to citizenship if they lack criminal records. The bill also calls for Social Security identity cards, which proponents say would stem the tide of future illegal immigration by holding businesses accountable.
 
"We'll only succeed in dramatically reducing future illegal immigration by creating an employment verification system that holds employers accountable for knowingly hiring illegal workers," said Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRomney: I never got a call from White House to discuss voting rights Kyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Joe Biden's disastrous 48 hours MORE (D-N.Y.). Schumer co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-S.C.), who has now dropped out of the debate, claiming Democrats' political maneuvers on the issue have poisoned the well.
 
Some liberals are alarmed that Democrats have included an identification card, but Schumer and the leadership point out that many of their proposals are GOP ideas included in past bills such as the one sponsored by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVoting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities Sinema, Manchin curb Biden's agenda A call to regular order: Joe Manchin and the anomaly of the NDAA MORE (R-Ariz.).
 
As I noted in my column, McCain is finding the sudden return of the immigration debate awfully uncomfortable as he struggles to fend off a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), a strong foe of comprehensive immigration reform. This debate will also be difficult for many conservative and centrist Democrats struggling in tough reelection campaigns, which is why I am quite surprised to see it front and center.
 

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