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 Schumer'Right to try' is a win for patient rights and President Trump Overnight Finance: White House planning new tax cut proposal this summer | Schumer wants Congress to block reported ZTE deal | Tech scrambles to comply with new data rules OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump MORE (N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform House easily passes prison reform bill backed by Trump This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure MORE (Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger MORE (N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump official won't OK lifetime limits on Medicaid MORE (Colo.) — as well as Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyMcConnell sets 'minibus' strategy for 2019 spending Dem senator mocks Pruitt over alleged security threats: 'Nobody even knows who you are' Pruitt tells senators: ‘I share your concerns about some of these decisions’ 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 ObamaFormer GOP lawmaker says Obama got elected because he was black To woo black voters in Georgia, Dems need to change their course of action 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? MORE,” Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Pro-Trump super PAC raises .5 million in 6 weeks Trump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform 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.