But the issue has really gone nowhere for nearly five months now, not after the House failed to take up the Senate bill that passed in late June. And recently House Speaker John Boehner said the issue was dead in the his chamber.
But then he said it wasn't. And on CBS' Face The Nation on Sunday, Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy from California said "immigration reform is going to happen."
McCarthy said it would happen in a "step-by-step method."
Immigration advocates have not given up home, despite the fact that they've been crushed that Boehner, McCarthy, Eric Cantor and other influential House Republicans have done nothing to move the ball forward on an issue that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said is crucial in restoring the GOP's brand, following Mitt Romney's lackluster support from Latino voters in last year's presidential election.
This past week President Obama said that he was sympathetic to House Republican's skepticism about voting on a comprehensive bill and said he was open to the argument by Boehner and company for a series of bill that would get to the same conclusion.
McCarthy cited those comments in saying House Republicans are committed to the process, adding that they've passed "a number of bills outside of committee," and "we need to fix this system."
However neither McCarthy on Sunday nor Boehner last week said when they will do anything legislatively to deal with the issue.
(A poll published Monday morning by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that 63 percent of Americans still support a legal pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants).