A White House senior adviser accused U.S. House Republicans Tuesday of "cruel hypocrisy" for contemplating legal status for unauthorized immigrants brought to the country as children, without also legalizing their parents.

The accusation added heat to the already fiery issue of immigration reform, now being contemplated in the U.S. House in a piecemeal fashion after relatively quick passage of a comprehensive bill in the Senate.

Dan Pfeiffer, assistant to the president and senior adviser for strategy and communications, said in a Twitter posting that the Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión "nails the cruel hypocrisy of the GOP immigration plan :allow some kids to stay but deport their parents."

Pfeiffer's comment came as the House Judiciary Committee prepared on Tuesday to convene a hearing on what to do about immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children. House GOP leaders have endorsed a path to citizenship for some of these immigrants, known as "dreamers," after the proposed DREAM Act, which would legalize their status.

Democrats and immigration advocates have said that is not enough. They are holding out for comprehensive legislation offering citizenship to all 11 million immigrants here illegally, as the Senate passed. Many House Republicans oppose that approach.

Last week, House Republicans said they would not consider the Senate's bill but would construct a series of piecemeal bills of their own, seeking stronger border security measures among other proposals.

On Monday, nine young "dreamers" were taken into custody at the Mexican border at Nogales after they tried to cross into the United States without proper documentation. All said they have lived in the U.S. for years and had crossed into mexico to visit family and to support comprehensive reform, including legalization for themselves and other "dreamers."