House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected the idea of adding language to protect so-called Dreamers into a year-end spending deal that Congress must pass in the next few weeks.
"It should be considered separately on its own merits," Ryan told reporters Thursday.
That comment was aimed at shutting down calls from Democrats and even some Republicans to add the language into the spending bill that's needed to avoid a partial government shutdown in early December. Thursday morning, a dozen House Republicans joined Democrats by calling for language creating a legislative program similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Trump has said would be rescinded in March.
The bipartisan group predicted that DACA language would get 300 votes in the House.
Ryan said Republicans have not yet decided how to move forward yet with the DACA program, which President Trump terminated in the face of legal challenges. Trump has also called on Congress to pass a DACA bill.
The Dreamers are younger immigrants who arrived in the United States illegally as children. Nearly 800,000 of them took advantage of former President Barack Obama's DACA program, which allows them to stay and work in the United States.
Many Republicans want strong border security or money for a southern border wall in exchange for extending the DACA program.
"Active discussions with our members are underway about how DACA legislation should occur," Ryan said.