Obstacle to Reform? Top House Republican Opposes Path to Citizenship.

A plan crafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators contains an earned pathway to citizenship that could take years to complete. It would allow many undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status, and eventually seek a path to citizenship if certain border security metrics are achieved. A bill being drafted by the White House contains an earned path to citizenship that could take 13 years to achieve, but Obama has said he will only introduce that bill if Congress fails to produce one of its own.

Democrats and immigration advocates have pushed hard for a pathway to citizenship and Obama has indicated that he will not support a bill that does not contain a path.

"It has to have a pathway to citizenship that is real," he said in an interview with Univision's Maria Elena Salinas in January.

Rep. Goodlatte's comments came on the same day that business and labor leaders reached a broad agreement in principle on a system to asses the future flow of immigrant workers, a contentious issue that helped torpedo the last immigration overhaul effort in 2007.

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