"It tells us volumes about today’s GOP that a harsh, inadequate immigration bill written only by right-wing anti-immigration Republicans is condemned by Freedom Caucus radicals as too soft," said Norm Ornstein, a Congressional analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.
Two measures are on the schedule in the House - the "Securing America's Future Act," and the "Border Security and Immigration Reform Act."
The first bill is the more conservative measure, drafted mainly by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the head of the House Judiciary Committee.
"I'm a 'yes' 'yes,'" Goodlatte said of how he would vote on both bills. "I want 218 votes."
But the chances of getting a majority on either bill seemed slim - moderates think the conservative bill is too harsh, while conservatives think the more moderate measure doesn't do enough.
The measures delve deeply into a number of subjects, how to treat illegal immigrant DACA "Dreamers," reform the asylum system, a host of changes in interior immigration enforcement laws, ending the diversity visa lottery, reforms for temporary agricultural workers, measures to address so-called "sanctuary cities," more aggressive efforts to return unaccompanied children and other migrants, and much more.
The Goodlatte bill runs 414 pages - the other plan backed by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo totals 299 pages.
The House debate comes a day after a rare retreat by President Trump on the issue of immigration, as he announced a hastily drawn executive order, designed to stop the forced separation of illegal immigrant families.
But Democrats said while the order stopped children from being taken away from their parents, it left many questions unanswered.
"The president’s order does not solve this problem"," said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). "It does nothing to reunify the 2,300 children who have been taken from their parents."
"As a country, we are better than this! Separating children from their parents," said Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL)
Republicans also chided the White House.
"It is about time the Administration takes action to address this issue, but more needs to be done," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). "I want to make sure this practice is ended, unequivocally, and I strongly believe we still must take legislative action."
"The President did the right thing by signing an executive order to keep families together at the border," added Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL).
But despite all the talk, nothing on that seems likely to make it through the Congress anytime soon - as a possible double defeat for the GOP in the House on immigration reform seemed a strong possibility.
And it was obvious that a visit by President Trump on Tuesday night to the Capitol had done little to unify Republicans, as the President took another jab on Wednesday as Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), after mocking Sanford during the GOP meeting.
"I have never been a fan of his!" the President said of Sanford on Twitter.
"This was a classless cheap shot," said Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).
The House convenes at 10 am - debate will begin soon after on immigration. Final votes are expected after 5 pm EDT.