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Sanford's comments, published on Tuesday, come as the spotlight moves to the House on passing immigration reform legislation. Top Republican lawmakers have said their chamber would not take up a bipartisan immigration reform proposal that passed the Senate in late June. Instead, the House is likely to pass a series of smaller immigration bills. 

"Again, what's probably going to happen is in the House side is there'll be a number of small micro bills that would be palatable to the body," Sanford told the Hilton Head Island Packet of South Carolina. Those bills include proposals on high skilled immigrants or a guest worker program for agriculture workers.

"And once one of those bills goes through, in essence, it becomes the train that takes it over to the conference —I mean over to the Senate, and you basically end up with a Senate bill," Sanford continued. "That's the concern of conservatives and that's probably what's going to happen."

A week earlier, House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorSpecial interests hide behind vets on Independence Day What to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials MORE (R-Va.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteBooker wants more scrutiny of Amazon-Whole Foods merger Dem wants hearing on Amazon's bid for Whole Foods Surveillance reform déjà vu MORE (R-Va.) announced that they are drafting legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for children brought to the country illegally as children. That proposal would be the first Republican proposal out of the House aimed at addressing a major part of the nation's immigration system.