Two Virginia Republicans are leading an effort in the House to provide a pathway to citizenship for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally.
According to The Wall Street Journal,
the bill by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte set for debate by a House panel on Tuesday.
"Those who are in this country unlawfully are not a homogeneous group. One of the clearest examples is those who were brought here as children who did not knowingly break our laws," South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who heads Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, told the Journal.
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"There is growing consensus in our conference to provide a solution for these children," he said.
To date, House Republicans have been almost universally opposed to creating a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants, as proposed in the Senate bill.
Many see it as granting amnesty to people who have entered the country illegally.
The Cantor-Goodlatte measure, however, would grant legal status for some on a limited basis.
Still, some critics on the right say passage of the measure could be a slippery slope, forcing the members ultimately to give more concessions on legalization for other groups.
Democrats also are critical of the approach, which they say could divide families by offering citizenship to young immigrants while their parents are in legal limbo, the Journal reported.
"There is no reason why Democrats should be part of this political game that Republicans are playing," California Rep. Xavier Becerra told the Journal. "The American people aren't telling us tear apart families to fix the broken immigration system."
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