President Obama suggested that he would not pursue reforms to the immigration system through regulations or other administrative policies.
The president said it was important for immigration reform to go through Congress, lest opponents of comprehensive reform use regulations as a political opportunity.
"You know, it is a very difficult thing to do administratively, and because we want comprehensive reform, and because we want the Dream Act, what we don't want to do is give an excuse to the opposition to say, 'Obama's trying to do an end-run around Congress,'" Obama said during an interview on Telemundo when asked what options he has to pursue immigration reform.
Obama has faced criticism from the Hispanic community for failing to follow through on his pledge to reform the immigration system. He told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) last week, though, that he would not "walk away" from reform, and called on Republicans to join him in passing legislation.
But Republicans in the Senate have appeared unwilling to find middle ground with the president over immigration. The Senate GOP has said it would oppose including the Dream Act, a piece of immigration legislation favored by many Democrats, in the Defense Authorization bill.
"It appears we're not going to get this done before the election," Obama told Telemundo of the Dream Act.
Obama stressed the need for consensus, though, a week after calling out Republican senators who'd favored comprehensive immigration reform under President George W. Bush, but who have now shifted to oppose similar legislation.
"We've got to build a consensus around this country," said the president. "I think we can."