Obama, Dems huddle on immigration

President Obama will meet Thursday with the four Senate Democrats who crafted a bipartisan immigration reform bill. [WATCH VIDEO]

Obama will meet with Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Crying on TV doesn't qualify Kimmel to set nation's gun agenda Trump knocks ‘fake’ news coverage of his trip to Puerto Rico MORE (N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGun proposal picks up GOP support Durbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration MORE (Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezOvernight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible Poll: Most in NJ want Menendez to resign if found guilty MORE (N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetAmeriCorps hurricane heroes deserve a reward — don’t tax it Joe Buck defends 'nonviolent protests' at NFL games Patriotism is no defense for Trump’s attacks on black athletes MORE (Colo.) — as well as Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (Vt.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The Senate began debating the bill this week amid growing momentum for the bill.

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On Tuesday, Obama told lawmakers the “moment is now” to pass immigration reform at a rally with labor and business leaders and students who are in the U.S. illegally at the White House.

“If you're serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it," Obama said. "If you're not serious about it — if you think a broken system is the best America can do, then I guess it makes sense to block it.”

Carney said Thursday that the White House is “heartened” by progress, before adding more work must be done.


“The president’s interest is in the Senate recognizing that we have a unique opportunity that has been a long time coming and isn’t likely to come again any time soon if we don’t seize it to pass comprehensive immigration reform with bipartisan support,” Carney added.

Some lawmakers have suggested Obama should stay away from the debate over the bill, and that his interference could hurt its prospects.

“The biggest obstacle to passing common-sense immigration reform is President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGeorge W. Bush honors father at benefit for hurricane victims Dem senator: ‘I miss every one of’ our last 5 presidents All five living former presidents appear at hurricane relief benefit concert MORE,” Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Texas) told ABC News on Monday.

Cruz also suggested Obama had designed the immigration bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants, to fail in the House as leverage for political gain.

“It is designed for it to sail through the Senate and then crash in the House to let the president go and campaign in 2014 on this issue,” Cruz said.