Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is rejecting the idea of giving immigrants in the U.S. illegally a special pathway to citizenship.  Congressman Goodlatte told a town hall meeting in the Shenandoah Valley this week that the House must chart its own course on immigration even if it never results in a bill President Barack Obama can sign, according to an Associated Press report. Goodlatte also said that he will do everything he can to ensure the House never takes up the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, which includes a path to citizenship for the approximate 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Speaking to more than 200 people in Verona, Virginia, Goodlatte gave no sign of altering the position he has been articulating for months–that immigrants here illegally should not get what he terms a “special” pathway to citizenship, which is what he sees in the Senate bill.  Goodlatte has said that immigrants could get a legal status short of citizenship and from there using the existing pathways of family or employment ties to eventually obtain citizenship.

The House will proceed with individual immigration bills once lawmakers return to Washington in September from their summer recess, beginning with bills on interior enforcement, border security, and workplace verification, according to Goodlatte.

The focus of the House’s Republican majority should be on how to “reform immigration the right way to show how it should be done, even if it doesn’t go all the way through to be signed by this president. Because I have a hard time, like you do, envisioning him signing some of these things,” Goodlatte told one questioner. “It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least show the American people that we are interested in solving this very serious problem that we have in our country.”

Goodlatte’s comments underscored the tough road ahead for Congress in agreeing to a compromise immigration bill, one of Obama’s top second-term priorities. The bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate in June includes billions for border security and new measures on legal immigration and workplace enforcement, in addition to a path to citizenship.