House Republicans stand divided on immigration reform, as some leaders such as Rep. Michelle Bachmann push for harsher security measures and others are ready to move forward in providing paths to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, declared Tuesday that she was unwilling to pass a bill allowing undocumented immigrants paths to citizenship, until a fence that lines the U.S. border is built, according to USA Today.
Last month, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill to reform immigration. The bill would increase border security by adding more border patrols — a key point for Republicans — and would allow a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. — a key measure for Democrats — according to the New York Daily News.
Construction of the fence stemmed from legislation passed in 2006, but the wall is yet to be completed.
"Until they can certify that the border is secure, I don't think we should take up any bill whatsoever," Bachmann said.
In a meeting Wednesday, Bachmann aims to persuade House Republicans to push for more border security and to drop all support for the possibility of allowing paths to citizenship, which would kill the bipartisan aspect of the bill.
She said Congress does not need to pass a new law on immigration right now, according to the Saint Cloud Times.
"Legalization equals amnesty, which equals citizenship," Bachmann said. "And that is the must-have [for Democrats. The] goal of the [Obama] administration is legalization because they want tens of millions of voters to pay for, to vote for their agenda. That's really what this is about. Everyone knows it. And it's not about border security.”
But Bachmann does not have all house Republicans on her side.
Some representatives, such as Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan among others, are pushing for to allow undocumented immigrants the ability to become legal citizens.
Winning enough Republican votes in the House may prove difficult, but some Democrats are hopeful they will find success in passing a bipartisan bill.
Xavier Becerra, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus, said he thinks it is possible Republicans and Democrats will reach a compromise that still provides a path to citizenship — an aspect of the bill Democrats may refuse to drop.
"(Democrats) made the point emphatically, [that] we cannot become a country that would [create] second class Americans," Becerra said.