Gutierrez: House group will unveil immigration deal by June, or not this year

House lawmakers negotiating a sweeping immigration reform package will unveil their proposal this month — or never at all, a member of the group vowed Wednesday.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said only a few disagreements remain to be ironed out within the bipartisan Group of Eight, which has been meeting for four years to craft legislation that can pass through Congress. If those differences aren't resolved by June, Gutiérrez said, then the window will have closed on reaching a deal this year.

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"It can't be weeks, because there's no time for weeks. There's no time for months," Gutiérrez said. "If you don't see it rolled out by the end of the month, you're not going to see it rolled out. There's just not that much more to be decided."

Gutiérrez, Capitol Hill's most persistent immigration reform advocate, declined to identify what — or how many — sticking points remain, but said the group will meet again Wednesday afternoon to continue the process.

"We're always making progress — every day," he said.

The other seven House negotiators are Reps. John Carter (R-Texas), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonSeven Texas lawmakers leaving Congress means a younger, more diverse delegation The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill Texas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection MORE (R-Texas), Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Regulation: Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle | Watchdog to investigate EPA chief's meeting with industry group | Ex-Volkswagen exec gets 7 years for emissions cheating California AG on Trump EPA: ‘It’s almost as if they believe they’re above the law’ Sanctuary city policies are ruining California — here’s why I left MORE (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthThe nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump Dem plans to force House floor vote on impeaching Trump MORE (D-Ky.).

Gutiérrez made the comments one day before the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin to mark up a separate comprehensive immigration reform bill unveiled last month by a similar Gang of Eight in the upper chamber. It's unclear how long the markup will take, but few are predicting a quick process. Indeed, members of the Judiciary panel filed more than 300 amendments to the bill this week.

Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteRosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee next week Conservative pressure on Sessions grows Clock ticking down on NSA surveillance powers MORE (R-Va.) has vowed to push ahead with hearings on separate pieces of immigration reform even without legislation from House negotiators. Goodlatte has emphasized, however, that his "step-by-step approach" is not designed to replace a comprehensive reform package, should one surface later in the year.

Gutiérrez, for one, knows there's a big fight to come. But the Chicago native is predicting that, after years of coming up short, reform advocates will finally see their efforts bear fruit.

"This is going to be a long, laborious process. This is the beginning," Gutierrez said Wednesday. "It will take awhile before everybody has spoken and everybody's opinion is heard. But in the end, I really believe we're at the crossroads of a great victory."