McCain thus far is the only co-signer of the bill, but Rubio is also expected to co-sign it as it is full of his ideas. The reason it’s being released now is that Kyle and Hutchinson won’t be in the Senate next year and hope that it will be carried forward by others in the Senate:
THE HILL – Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on Tuesday introduced an alternative bill to the DREAM Act that would allow undocumented immigrants brought here as children to stay in the U.S. without an expedited pathway to citizenship. …
The bill, called the ACHIEVE Act, sets up a three-step visa system to allow many of those brought into the U.S. at a young age to stay in the country.
The first visa would allow those enrolled in college or the military to stay for six years. After they graduate or leave the military, they could then apply for another four-year work visa, and after that they could apply for four-year visas to allow them to stay legally in the country.
Kyl and Hutchison stressed that the bill would not allow anyone to move ahead of others applying for citizenship but that they could remain in the U.S. while applying through existing programs for citizenship, marking a significant difference with Senate Democrats’ proposals.
“It doesn’t allow them to cut in line in front of people who have abided by the rules of our laws today. It doesn’t keep them from applying under the rules today but it doesn’t give them a special preference before those who have waited in line for years to get into the citizenship track,” Hutchison said.
Hutchison and Kyl said they’d been working on the bill for approximately a year and denied its introduction had anything to do with the GOP’s weak performance among Latino voters in this past election. Kyl emphasized that the bill is not a “Republican push on immigration” but rather his and Hutchison’s own effort.
Both said they’d discussed the bill with Democrats, though they declined to say who they had consulted. They also said they’ve briefed their Senate replacements.
Kyl pointed out that Sen.-elect Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) “was very forward-leaning on trying to get comprehensive immigration reform” passed in the House. But, he said, Flake hasn’t had a chance to look into all the details of the new bill.
Hutchison said she had talked with Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (R-Texas), describing him as “very interested” in the bill but not saying whether he planned to support it.