If you have followed immigration policy in the United States at all over the past 30 years, you already know the script for “comprehensive” immigration reform: illegal immigrants get legalization now, enhanced immigration enforcement is promised for later, and then the promised enhanced immigration enforcement never happens.

Longtime amnesty advocate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., flipped the script a bit, however, Tuesday, when he told the AFL-CIO that the big-ticket enforcement item in the Schumer-Rubio amnesty plan may get scrapped before the bill ever becomes law. ABC News reports:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) helped write the Senate’s immigration bill and voted for an amendment that would spend $46 billion on new border security measures, while doubling the size of the Border Patrol. But now, McCain admits the plan was simply meant to secure Republican votes and that he is open to other ways to secure the border.

“I’ll give you a little straight talk, we don’t need 20,000 additional border patrol agents,” the Arizona senator said at an event sponsored by the AFL-CIO. “I voted for it so friends of mine would have comfort that we are securing the border,” McCain added.

Before the Corker-Hoeven amendment alluded to by McCain above was added to the Schumer-Rubio bill, even Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., had said the legislation did not have enough border security in it to pass the Senate or the House. But after the amendment was added, Rubio, as well as 10 other Republicans not already committed to the bill, crossed party lines and voted with Democrats to give illegal immigrants citizenship.

Now, however, McCain is signaling that the core of that amendment, the 20,000 additional border agents, will probably be scrapped in conference. Calls to the offices of Republicans who committed to S. 744 after the Corker-Hoeven amendment was added, were not returned. It is unclear if the Republican senators who only voted for S. 744 with the new border agents ,will still vote for the bill once they are taken out of the final product.