He then said he "certainly wouldn't sign the more moderate one", which is a House bill that would provide $25 billion in additional funding for a border wall and legal status for migrants who crossed the border illegally as children, including a path to citizenship.
A powerful conservative group, Heritage Action, also came out strongly against the bill -urging GOP lawmakers to vote no. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and demanded anonymity. Without it - as members thought they might be for several hours Friday - any immigration bill doesn't stand much a chance of passing in the House.
The White House sought the change.
"Our members felt very, very passionate about having votes on policies they care about, and that is what we are doing", he said earlier Thursday.
Skittish conservative lawmakers have indicated there's little chance they would support the current plan unless Trump were to give it a full embrace.
The conservative measure is virtually certain to be rejected due to opposition and moderate Republicans and perhaps all Democrats.
Many in Congress, including many Trump supporters, say he is wrong.
- Program would cover 1.8 million people protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, or those who are eligible for it. DACA covers many younger people who arrived in US before June 15, 2007.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina, is the House GOP's second-ranking vote counter. Meanwhile, he suggested that plans for votes next week were being reconsidered.
Instead, the House this week will take up a harsh measure offered by the nativist chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and a politically motivated "compromise" the Republican leadership is trying to cobble together. "Republicans are not going to take on immigration without the support and endorsement of President Trump".
Is Fortnite Cross Play on Nintendo Switch?
For those who want to be first to download the new game, you'll need to log into the Switch store at the time mentioned above. Fortnite is certain to grab the short-term attention of players, but it's not necessarily a game that will sell hardware.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, speaks to reporters after staging a eight-hour filibuster, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 7, 2018.
Democrats, like many Republicans, abhor the family separations.
House GOP leaders are revising their legislation amid a public outcry over the administration's "zero tolerance" approach to illegal crossings.
Dreamers is a term for a group of immigrants, mostly Hispanic, who were brought illegally over USA borders when they were children and have been living for years in limbo. Mr. Trump has terminated that program, though federal courts have temporarily kept it functioning.
There are no limits on how many people can receive that legal immigration status, and critics said it would allow the DREAMers - after they win US citizenship - to petition for their parents to also become citizens. One of them was a clean effort to give the dreamers a path to citizenship that was favored to pass if it got a vote.
An expanded number of children who arrived legally with parents who have obtained work visas would also be covered.
He warned that Republicans "will lose the House and Trump will be impeached" if the House backs the new measure, according to Iowa Rep. Steve King, an immigration hard-liner who was in attendance. But the way it does that is by relaxing the Flores settlement rules - allowing the government to keep children in detention longer, albeit with their parents.
Now, the party of family values is caught up in the forcible separation of children from their parents.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said "it is very biblical to enforce the law".
Ryan and House GOP leaders have worked with the administration to craft legislation that the president would sign into law - including his controversial wall between the United States and Mexico. It prohibits the separation of undocumented families. "Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution", Sessions said at the event.
Sessions cited a verse in the Book of Romans during a speech to law enforcement on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, a DHS official who declined to be identified said that almost 2,000 children had been separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31.