“We've known for years that our immigration system is broken, that we're not doing enough to harness the talent and ingenuity of all those who want to work hard and find a place in America,” Obama said. “And after avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all. The time has come for comprehensive, sensible immigration reform.”

Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carey added that Obama had been "engaging with lawmakers of both parties" on immigration talks in recent days.

"That will continue, as will our staff interaction with Congress on these issues," Carney said. "And you'll continue to hear the president, in public, discuss the need to move forward on these important measures."