The timing of an immigration reform bill is in the hands of the U.S. Senate. Reform advocates say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calf., will wait for the Senate to act first on the proposed measure.
The debate re-ignited after the state of Arizona passed its controversial law in order to crack down on crimes committed by illegal immigrants.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., is a vocal advocate of federal action on immigration. He says Arizona cannot be blamed for legislating out of frustration.
He told reporters how he would have responded to a Maryland school girl who recently told First Lady Michelle Obama that her mother is in the country illegally.
"Here's how we suggest her mother get her papers," Gutierrez said. "We say, 'We're going to ask your mother to come out and register with the government and make herself right with the government.'
"We're going to give her a thorough background check and make sure that she doesn't have any criminal background and then she's going to pay a fine, we're going to send her to English and Civics classes and then we're going to make sure she has a work visa so she can go out and work legally in the United States," he explained.
Senate Democrats will need Republican support to pass an immigration measure.