White House: Immigration reform has 'always been an uphill battle'

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill has "always been an uphill battle."

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With the GOP-controlled House currently discussing how they would deal with an immigration bill on Wednesday, Carney said President Obama is "keenly interested" in seeing the process move forward.

Still, he acknowledged, "Hard things are hard."

The White House spokesman would not outline Obama's plans for pushing the legislation in the House and would not detail whether the president would stay on the sidelines as he did as the Senate considered the legislation or if he would launch a more public campaign.

"The thing about strategy is it would be strategic foolish to announce it in advance. We are on this every day," Carney said.

But Carney said immigration has gotten this far "in no small part due to the president's advocacy."

Obama met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday to discuss an immigration reform bill. But lawmakers and senior aides have expressed skepticism that a bill could pass the House.

"In the end, we can't prevent lawmakers from making bad choices. We can simply be part of a broad, comprehensive effort of persuasion," Carney said.