Rep. Keith Ellison, the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a gathering of Democrats in Pennsylvania that members of his party who don't support a "clean" Dream Act will "have some problems."
In a video obtained by the Republican National Committee, Ellison spoke about the Democratic push to pass the Dream Act, which would be the congressional version of the executive action taken by former President Barack Obama that provides protection to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.
"That's right, a clean Dream Act. And there cannot be one single politician in the state of Pennsylvania who is in a state of confusion about how you feel. We're going to make it perfectly clear to all of them on a repeated basis. And yes, we have a litmus test," the Minnesota Democrat said in the video.
"If you are a Democrat who doesn't like a clean Dream Act, you're going to have some problems. And don't count on me to protect you. You're on your own with that," he added.
Ellison's call for Democrats to hold firm on a clean bill has been taken up by some leading figures on the Left, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
While there is bipartisan support in Congress to come up with a legislative solution to protect those immigrants impacted by the expiring Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, President Trump has warned that his signature on legislation is incumbent on a deal that would also obtain money for a border wall.
Some Democrats, such as Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., have broken ranks with Democratic leaders, expressing a willingness to work with Trump and congressional Republicans on legalizing the DACA program in return for border wall funding.
Trump warned Friday that other Democrats are willing to partially shut down the government over their fight for DACA.
The deadline to reach an agreement on government spending is Jan. 19. Some Democrats are pushing for a "DREAMer" solution to be included in the deal.