Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's new support for ending chain migration is a watershed moment for immigration reformers in Congress.
"When you have the majority leader of the Republican caucus say that he is in favor of ending chain migration, I think that's a milestone," Perdue said during a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington. "I think the mood in our caucus anyway is that ending chain migration is a top priority."
Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a revised version of the RAISE Act in August. Perdue said McConnell, R-Ky., has looked over the bill and spoken with caucus members about its proposals.
"We believe that before March, you've got to have a solution to DACA legislatively," Perdue added.
A senior Senate aide told the Washington Examiner in October that Cotton and Perdue were working with President Trump to make sure their RAISE Act would be "included in any immigration solution" to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Their bill would create a merit-based immigration system and eliminate the diversity visa lottery, which authorities say was used by the suspect behind last month's terrorist attack in New York to enter the U.S. in 2010.
Perdue reiterated Thursday he does not believe a legislative solution to DACA — set to end March 5 — can be concluded without the inclusion of his bill, and swatted away Democrats' "posturing" against any such proposal.
However, he also did not endorse the idea of combining a DACA bill with his RAISE Act.
"I'm maybe a little naive on this, but there is a solution to be done here ... We're not suggesting tying it to DACA," Perdue said.