"I'm looking at both of them", Trump told reporters at the White House.
Without Trump's support, and with a pledge to veto the legislation, it would be nearly impossible to pass the legislation in the House, as members across the ideological spectrum are already hesitant to back the legislation on the political third rail issue and many lawmakers have said they are only interested in a bill that can become law. "We need a wall. I have to have that".
The 293-page bill represents the kind of ambitious overhaul of the immigration system Republicans have long considered but have been unable to turn into law.
Democrats are expected to solidly oppose both Republican bills.
The proposed changes in the House GOP bill would override a 1997 settlement - which calls on migrant children to be held in the least restrictive setting possible - and related litigation to make clear there is "no presumption that an alien child should not be detained" and that those children must not "be released by the Secretary of Homeland Security other than to a parent or legal guardian".
Republicans have produced a hard-right immigration measure and a separate package negotiated by the party's battling moderates and conservatives.
Both bills, which are still undergoing changes, contain provisions aimed at helping young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, often called Dreamers.
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The rejection of the compromise also contradicted messaging from the White House in recent days.
Some Republicans who support the president said Trump knew exactly what he was doing as lawmakers tried to cobble a simple majority for a vote sometime next week. "Go for it! WIN!"
President Trump took Capitol Hill by surprise on Friday when he announced he would not sign a House GOP bill on immigration legislation drafted specifically to meet his policy demands. The measure would make sweeping changes to the nation's immigration system, shifting preference from the family members of USA citizens to employment-based criteria, and creating a special visa program that would give young unauthorized immigrants the chance to become citizens based on factors like employment and education. Each contains other strict border security provisions, and would end a visa lottery and tighten rules that let US citizens sponsor relatives for legal status.
Advocates for immigrants said the changes to family detentions were particularly severe. Advocates for immigrants said that opens the door for sending children from Central America swiftly back to their home countries, even when they are far away, the same way children from Mexico are turned back at the border.
Centrists had tried to use a discharge petition to force leadership to move on four different immigration proposals, including one backed by Democrats that protects so-called "Dreamers", beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "That's fair." But, he added, because those people can eventually apply for citizenship, "they're not permanently sort of second-class residents of America".
The latest version of the conservative bill would extend DACA protections for renewable six-year periods.