House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, answers questions from reporters as House Republicans try to bridge their party's internal struggle over immigration at a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 7, 2018.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, answers questions from reporters as House Republicans try to bridge their party's internal struggle over immigration at a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 7, 2018.

House Republicans continue to struggle over immigration legislation as  factions disagree on key issues, including how to deal with the thousands of young undocumented immigrants, known colloquially as Dreamers, brought to the U.S. as children. 

More than 200 GOP representatives met early Thursday and discussed several options but failed to arrive at a firm proposal. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference after the meeting that it was time to "put pen to paper" and draft legislation. But he gave no deadline. 

 

WATCH: House Republicans Scramble to Avoid Immigration Fight

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House leaders are eager to put forth a compromise to keep the moderates from following through with a threat to use a discharge petition to force a vote on four immigration bills.

A discharge petition is a procedural move that forces a bill out of committee and to the House floor for a vote. In order to succeed, it needs 218 signatures. 

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who was born in
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who was born in Cuba and brought to the U.S. by her parents, is pursued by reporters as she leaves a closed-door GOP meeting in the basement of the Capitol as the Republican leadership tries to reach a policy agreement between conservatives and moderates on immigration, in Washington, June 7, 2018.

The discharge petition drafted by the moderate Republicans in the House has already been signed by 216 members. If it gets the last two required signatures, there would be votes on the four immigration plans before the House on June 25.

One of them is the Dream Act, overwhelmingly supported by Democrats, which guarantees a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. The Republican leadership fears it will pass, embarrassing the GOP-led House. 

House Republicans have been struggling over immigration legislation since U.S. President Donald Trump last year ended the program implemented by former President Barack Obama that protected the Dreamers.

The fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is now caught up in the courts. 

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