WASHINGTON - Influential House conservatives signaled Thursday that they will pursue their own course on revising the nation's immigration laws, a move that some lawmakers warned could derail a comprehensive overhaul that President Barack Obama has made a top priority for his second term.
A week after a bipartisan Senate group introduced an 844-page immigration proposal backed by the White House, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said he would chart a narrower path by introducing several small-scale immigration proposals this week that will take months of negotiations to resolve.
Leading conservatives have begun to seek ways to delay and, potentially, defeat the push for the legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants. Goodlatte's measures are expected to be more conservative than those included in the bipartisan Senate deal.
The critics' strategy has come into increasing focus since the Senate plan became public last week, with groups and lawmakers on the right vowing to draw out the debate and offer time for opposition to grow. The emerging coalition is working to step up the political pressure on the measure's most prominent Republican sponsor, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential presidential contender in 2016.