On Wednesday House Republicans signaled some willingness to compromise with Democrats but rejected a Senate-passed bill and insisted they would take their time drafting their own version.
GOP legislators said the biggest question was whether to give the 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States a path to eventual citizenship, as provided by the Senate measure. Participants in the Republican caucus meeting described a 50-50 split over the undocumented immigrant issue, with more consensus on the need to produce some kind of legislation to show the party’s commitment to fixing a broken system and addressing concerns of Hispanic Americans — the nation’s largest minority demographic.
Despite the divisions on the undocumented immigrant issue, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia told the GOP members that children living illegally in the United States through no fault to their own should receive legal status.
At the same time, House GOP leaders made clear they intended to slow the process down by tackling individual components of the broad measure passed by the Democratic-led Senate last month with bipartisan support. Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan House legislators trying to draft its own immigration measure met for several hours on Tuesday night and would continue its work.