President Obama told church leaders at this year's National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast Thursday that immigration reform was a "moral imperative."
Noting that America is a nation of immigrants, Obama added that improving the current laws was also crucial to improving the nation's economy and security.
"I know there are some folks who wish I could just bypass Congress, but I can't," Obama said. "But what I can do is sign a law."
'And what you can do is champion a law," he added, mentioning past examples of how religious communities had changed the country.
Baptist churches in the South, he noted, sparked the civil rights movement. He also mentioned early patriots who spearheaded the American Revolution.
"I'll keep pushing and working with Congress," Obama vowed. "But the only way we are going to get this done is by building a widespread movement for reform."
"That's why I'm asking you to keep preaching and persuading your congregations and communities," he said. "That's why I'm asking you to keep on activating, getting involved, mobilizing. That's why we all need to keep praying."