Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said on Sunday that the current U.S. immigration system isn't working.
Johnson pushed back at criticism from Republicans that Homeland Security is failing to enforce the law, but also said he needs help from Congress.
"We have an immigration system in this country that is not working. Comprehensive immigration reform is something we need to do," he said.
Last month, facing scrutiny from the left on the department's deportation approach, President Obama asked Johnson to oversee a review of deportation policy.
"Immigration laws or any other law need to comport with American values," Johnson said. "One of those values is respect for human dignity."
Johnson said he looking for ways to more effectively enforce the nation's immigration laws, but again is hopeful Congress will act on reform soon.
"I'm confident it will happen," he said of immigration reform.
Last week, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (Wash.), the House's No. 4 Republican, told The Spokesman-Review that she thinks "there is a path" for a bill to get to the floor by August.