act on his comprehensive immigration reform, Obama said the good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together.
"Members of both parties in both chambers are actively working on a solution. Yesterday a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform which are very much in line with the principles I've proposed and campaigned," he said.
"My hope is that this provides some key markers to members of Congress as they craft a bill," Obama added.
Details of US immigration reform proposals
President Barack Obama pushed Congress to reform immigration laws on Tuesday, a campaign promise he made last year to Hispanics when running for re-election.
His speech in Las Vegas came a day after a bipartisan group of US senators unveiled the outlines of an immigration reform proposal that they will try to pass this year.
Many details still have to be worked out before the outlines can be translated into legislation. Here are the main elements:
* A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP: There are an estimated 11 million people living in the United States who arrived illegally. Most are from Mexico, Central American and South American countries.
The senators' plan would require those here illegally to register with the government and pass a background check. They would have to pay a fine and back taxes to earn a "probationary legal status."
Those people earning the status would go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants who have applied through legal means to come to the United States. They also will have to learn English and pay taxes to apply for a "green card" to live and work permanently in the United States.
From there, they could apply for citizenship.
* BORDER SECURITY MEASURES: The Senate plan is contingent on doing more to secure US borders, mainly the border with Mexico. This would include increasing the number of unmanned aerial vehicles and other surveillance equipment and adding border law enforcement agents.
An entry-exit system would be completed to track whether everyone entering the United States on temporary visas via airports and seaports have