In an interview with the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, scheduled to be aired Sunday, McCain said he is "cautiously optimistic" a compromise being worked out in the Senate will pass the House, The Hill reported.
McCain, who is part of a bipartisan group working on the issue, said in the interview Friday the consequences of failure to pass a reform measure could be drastic for the Republican Party.
"So it's hard for me to predict," McCain said. "But I think you, I know what you're referring to, and that is the election results with a smaller number of our Hispanic/Latino citizens that are voting for Republicans. We understand that."
McCain said he supports giving immigrants living illegally in the United States a pathway to citizenship.
"You know, I don't know yet, because we haven't finished the package. I know that the attitude of the American people is that," he said. "And I think that there's a realization on my side of the aisle that we need to have this resolved. And that people should have a pathway to citizenship. But look, I've lost before and so for me to predict would be premature. But I do think that the attitude overall of the American people and members of the Senate is significantly improved to the point where I am cautiously optimistic."
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said a bipartisan group in the House, working in secret, is close to agreeing on a compromise plan.