GOP lawmaker says Senate immigration bill hurts assimilation process

"That language is pointedly missing from the Senate measure, suggesting a purpose fundamentally different from past immigration laws," McClintock said. "It raises the question of why groups supporting this bill find the mention of assimilation objectionable, and consider patriotism and traditional American values not only disagreeable but in their word, dangerous."

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While supporters of the Senate bill say millions of illegal residents need a pathway to U.S. citizenship, McClintock said that path already exists, which is for people to follow existing laws for becoming a citizen.

"We already have such a path, it is followed by millions of legal immigrants who have obeyed all of our laws," he said. "They do so by the thousands, every day, by obeying our immigration laws, renouncing foreign loyalties, and embracing American principles."

He added that the wave of illegal immigration has also hurt the process of assimilation, as it allows people to enter the country without fully adopting U.S. traditions and values. McClintock said that step is necessary to create a bond among everyone in a country like the United States that has a significant immigration population.

"If we allow illegal immigration, then legal immigration becomes pointless," he said. "The process of assimilation that our immigration laws assure breaks down, and the bonds of allegiance that hold a country like ours together begin to dissolve."

McClintock spoke just hours before House Republicans were expected to meet at 3 p.m. to discuss how to approach the issue of immigration. McClintock is one of dozens of Republicans who oppose the Senate-passed bill and fear it would legalize millions of illegal residents without first tightening border security.

GOP leaders are considering passing several smaller bills dealing with border security and expanding visas for high-skilled workers, but not a comprehensive bill like the Senate has passed.

The House is expected to break after a series of votes at 2 p.m. on the 2014 energy and water bill in order to allow for the GOP meeting to take place. Afterward, members will return to continue work on the spending bill.