President Barack Obama said his administration will push for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, saying the system is “fundamentally broken”.
"What we have made clear is that this administration will not just kick the can down the road," president Obama said in a speech at the American University School of International Service in Washington today. “Immigration reform is no exception.”
Mr Obama said passing comprehensive reform would be impossible without Republican support. The president needs at least 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Republican opposition and ensure a floor vote on legislation and the Democrats control 58 seats.
Other major hurdles facing any overhaul effort this year are the midterm elections in November and a congressional agenda crowded with priorities such as confirming Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court justice, passing budget and spending bills, and final action on financial regulation overhaul.
The president has regularly pledged to tighten border security and revamp the nation's immigration laws to deal with the millions of immigrants in the country illegally.
He repeated that pledge in May during a state visit by Mexican president Felipe Calderon and earlier this week in a meeting with immigration groups.
Arizona Law Calderon lobbied Mr Obama for an immigration overhaul after Arizona passed a law cracking down on illegal immigrants.