The House formally began consideration of a GOP bill addressing the border crisis after lawmakers approved the rule governing debate in a 218-191 vote.
House debate is slated to last late into the evening. A vote on the $694 million emergency funding package dealing with the surge of child migrants is expected in the 8 p.m. hour.
Following passage of the funding bill, the House would debate a separate measure to prevent expansion of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. A vote on that bill is expected in the 10 p.m. hour.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) warned Republicans that they would risk alienating the Hispanic community by voting to speed up and increase deportations.
"If you tell people you think they're criminals, you think they're simply bringing diseases, they're bringing drugs, if you treat them as invaders…they're going to think you don't like them," Gutierrez said. "There's a reason 75 percent of the Latino immigrant community voted Democrat."
Republicans said their legislation would enforce border security.
"America is a land of immigrants. But rule of law is important also," said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
If the bills pass, the House is expected to leave Washington to embark upon its August recess.